Downey Community Health Center – Downey, Los Angeles County, California

March 27, 2024

Downey Community Health Center

Helping Hands


One of the Golden State’s leading Nursing Homes where Quality Care is a Top Priority

In the heart of Los Angeles County, California, Downey Community Health Center (DCHC) stands as a testament to top-notch patient care. This independent, family-owned, and operated skilled nursing facility, boasting 198 beds, has been a vital part of the Downey community for more than four decades. DCHC is committed to delivering personalized and comprehensive therapeutic and rehabilitative options, with the goal of providing the highest quality of life for every resident.

“What’s special about us is that we are independent, and we are able to really customize our care to each and every patient” shares COO M. Oliver Rosenberg. “The nursing home was started 44 years ago by my grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor. And I’m really proud to say I’m now the third generation involved in the operations. Our name is Downey Community Health Center, and we’re really here to serve the community.” Oliver Rosenberg holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management and Finance with magna cum laude honors and is also a licensed nursing home administrator having passed both federal and state licensing requirements. Prior to DCHC, Rosenberg had several years of work experience in the corporate risk management departments of Sempra Energy and JPMorgan Chase. In deciding to join Downey Community and carry on his family’s legacy, Rosenberg felt a calling to help people and make the world a better place.

Proactive Pandemic Response

One example of Downey Community Health Center’s commitment to the people it serves was the proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosenberg recounts his decision to close their doors early in March 2020, even before regulatory guidance was issued.

Although concerns were raised about limiting patient visitations, DCHC reached out to families, expressing concerns about the unknowns and recommending restrictions in the facility.

“What we found out as the weeks ensued into March, was that this very first strain of COVID could lie dormant for up to 10 days before it would show any signs and symptoms,” he relays.

“It was getting into nursing homes and causing a lot of chaos. And because we had closed our doors early, we were able to save ourselves about another two to three months, where we did not have COVID in our building.”

This resolute response afforded Downey Community Health Center the time to secure PPE and have a solid pandemic plan in place. “That comes back to the benefit of being independent,” Rosenberg adds, noting the advantages of being able to make rapid decisions without navigating a corporate hierarchy.


Staff Appreciation and Loyalty

During Nurse and Nursing Home Appreciation Week in May 2020, Rosenberg implemented a unique bonus program, providing the 200 staff members with appreciation bonuses for still not having a single case of COVID at Downey Community.

“I could talk about COVID all I want, but I really can’t govern them outside of work. And in that really early sensitive time, they didn’t go to a big party, they didn’t go around people. So, they didn’t bring COVID into the building. I was really appreciative that they had been our partner in not bringing it into the building for those really critical two months, where we all saw the news from New York of what was going on in nursing homes,” Rosenberg conveys.

This unexpected gesture fostered a continued sense of loyalty and solidarity among the team, creating a supportive environment that proved crucial when the facility eventually faced its first COVID cases in June.

“I always say I want staff to feel like family. And that was a time where the staff really made me feel like they were my family, and it was very special,” he says.

In terms of the day-to-day employee approach, Rosenberg admits, “When you have over 200 employees, there’s a lot of delegation. The administrator is delegating to the department heads, and the director of nursing is delegating to her leaders that fall under her nursing division.”

Additionally, California’s rigorous regulations make continuous staff education a priority. “We foster a lot of team collaboration,” he says.

“We really do a lot of team activities, and we have monthly all-staff meetings where we just want to get everybody together, talk about some high-level things, have a little bit of fun, or an activity or a game together, to really just continue to build team camaraderie as a whole.”


Adapting to Meet Evolving Patient Needs

In recent years, Rosenberg started the initiative to bring what he describes as “a higher caliber of nurses” to the facility, to address the needs of high acuity and short-term patients. “The kinds of patients that are now seeking a nursing home are of a much higher acuity, everything from post-stroke care to patients that require wound treatment,” he portrays.

“We’ve really developed, over the last several years, an excellent caliber of nurses that can really handle wound treatments and patients that require IVs, physical therapy, and cardiac issues.”

Downey Community Health Center’s Special Treatment Program (STP) unit sets it apart, catering to individuals with schizoaffective disorder through a comprehensive rehabilitation program that encompasses behavior programming and classes, geared at acclimating them back into the community. Located in a completely separate wing of the facility, patients participate in the program for two years on average.

“All of those patients actually have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, meaning that they have both a diagnosis for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In California, there’s a lot in the news about mental health crises, and certainly, here in Los Angeles County, we have a mental health crisis. I find it very rewarding to see the day-to-day work that we do in our behavioral treatment unit,” Rosenberg acknowledges.

Infrastructure Upgrades and Compliance

Looking toward the future, Downey Community Health Center is continuing to complete infrastructure upgrades to keep the facility in top shape. The ongoing short-term post-acute project includes the renovation of 17 patient rooms in 2024.

Rosenberg elaborates, “Basically, we’re in the middle of renovating 19 rooms, two we did last year, and now we’re doing 17. We’re going to have 19 semi-private rooms. So that’s 38 beds. We’re also planning to renovate the hallways, our dining room, and our shower rooms that are adjoining these patient rooms. So, we’re really going to have, by the end of 2024, a completely renovated short-term post-acute unit.”

Over the last two years, the facility has also seen the renovation of two nursing stations, the front and back lobbies, and the rehab gymnasium. Rosenberg also highlights a big investment in compliance with new regulations, which will ensure an uninterrupted power supply for the facility and its vulnerable patient population.

“California passed in the last two years a new law requiring nursing homes to build an alternate power source. And we are one of the first nursing homes in the state to be complying with that,” he explains.

“We’re building on-site a natural gas cogeneration unit that is going to power our facility 24/7. Not just in the case of an emergency, but it’s actually going to be our main power support year-round. We are really excited about that.”

Moving Forward

As Downey Community Health Center continues to evolve to meet the needs of its community, Rosenberg says his top priority is, “delivering quality care and delivering quality outcomes to patients and being able to serve a greater number of patients in Downey and in the overall southeast LA County area.”

As they strengthen existing partnerships and embark on new ventures, Downey Community Health Center remains committed to delivering quality care and maintaining its position as a trusted healthcare provider.

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Downey Community Health Center

What: A 198-bed Skilled Nursing Facility (nursing home)

Where: Downey, Los Angeles County, California



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