Meet Christi Howard, MDS Nurse

May 28, 2020

Change can lead to valuable insights.

Take Christi Howard, an MDS nurse at Kline Galland Home. She was working at the home in 2016 when she and her husband, Mike, bought a house near the foothills of Mt. Rainier National Park. “We really love being outdoors, and we like to drive to the mountains for camping and hiking,” she says. Unfortunately, their new home was 26 miles from Kline Galland, which doubled her daily commute. So, Christi decided to work at a different facility nearer where she moved.

After a few years, she says, “I got some perspective when working elsewhere.” She missed Kline Galland’s culture of abundance, from the focus on residents’ quality of life to the easy availability of resources for staff, and the teamwork. “I realized that Kline Galland is next level,” she says. “It is the opposite of a corporate culture of scarcity.”

Mike and ChristiSo, Christi rejoined our team in March 2020, after four years away. “It was like being welcomed back by family,” she says. “It’s great to be back.”

Originally from rural Illinois—a very flat place—Christi now continues to revel in the mountains while thriving at a workplace she loves.

Thank you, Christi, for all you do for Kline Galland residents. We missed you, and we’re glad you’re back!

What Does an MDS Nurse Do?

Christi’s work as an MDS nurse involves assessing residents’ health and well being, and helping translate that data into care plans and goals.

MDS stands for minimum data set. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires nursing homes that are certified to care for Medicare- and Medicaid-covered residents to use MDS assessments for all residents. This process provides a thorough assessment of each resident’s functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems and work as a team in addressing them.

Christi and the four other MDS nurses at the Kline Galland Home review residents’ assessments regularly so that changes can be noted and care plans modified to as needed. The assessment includes everything from the resident’s mood and cognition to medications and a range of physical factors. The team updates care plans as needed to ensure quality of care.

MDS nurses play a central role in helping us achieve our goal of providing a personalized, holistic approach to all our residents’ health and well-being.

Read more.