Huntington Valley Healthcare Center – Huntington Beach, California

March 4, 2024

Huntington Valley Healthcare Center

Heartfelt Care: A New Chapter at Huntington Valley Healthcare Center


Innovative strategies are transforming patient care at Huntington Valley, blending cutting-edge technology with a deeply human touch.

Nestled in the vibrant Huntington Beach, California community, the Huntington Valley Healthcare Center is a shining example of excellence in skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. This Medicare-certified facility is lauded for its superior care, as evidenced by its 5-star rating in Quality Measures by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

The facility, with its 144 beds, is a crucial link in the healthcare chain of Orange County. As Andrew Stephenson, its Healthcare Administrator, explains, “We serve a lot of the different hospitals in Orange County.” This proximity to the community isn’t just a logistical advantage; it fosters a familial atmosphere where visitors and families are a common and welcome sight.

The role of Huntington Valley extends beyond mere lodging for the ailing. Stephenson elucidates, “We are the intermediary between the hospital and going home.” This transition is crucial. Patients, often recovering from surgeries, accidents, or other medical emergencies, receive specialized care. “We offer 24-hour nursing care,” Stephenson notes, emphasizing the comprehensive nature of their services, including physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapies, IV antibiotics, and wound care.

Stephenson also reveals that the duration varies significantly. “Length of stay generally averages between 12 to 60 days,” he says, indicating a typically brief yet impactful rehabilitation period. However, the facility accommodates long-term residents, for whom Huntington Valley becomes a surrogate home. “Unfortunately, for some, they just don’t have anywhere else to go,” Stephenson remarks, highlighting the dual role of Huntington Valley as both a temporary rehab center and a permanent residence for some.

Holistic Approach to Care

As Stephenson elaborates on the workings of Huntington Valley Healthcare Center, it becomes evident that their approach to patient care transcends traditional methods. The facility prides itself on a model termed “360 care,” a holistic strategy aimed at accelerating patients’ journeys back to their homes.

“360 care is about how we surround the patient with care,” explains Stephenson. This concept involves more than just medical treatment; it encompasses a spectrum of services tailored to individual needs. “We surround them with a plan around their rehab,” he says, detailing the meticulous process of setting physical therapy goals and providing customized dietary plans by registered dieticians.

However, the care at Huntington Valley isn’t confined to physical healing alone. Stephenson notes the significance of mental and emotional well-being: “We keep their mind, body, and soul stimulated.” This is achieved through various activities and the serene ambiance of their spacious patios, fountains, and a newly built vegetable garden – elements that, as Stephenson aptly puts it, are “sometimes better than medicine.”

Stephenson also sheds light on the seamless transition of patients from hospitals to their facility. This transition is not just about moving patients from one facility to another; it involves a comprehensive review of each patient’s needs and a collaborative decision-making process involving patients and their families.

Personalized Care and Family Involvement

In healthcare, individualized care is not just a preference but a necessity. Stephenson clearly illustrates this, explaining how Huntington Valley Healthcare Center ensures every patient receives a custom care plan.

“Everyone who comes in within the first 24 hours, we are sitting down with that patient and doing a care plan,” he states. This approach is not merely about medical prescriptions; it delves into understanding each patient’s life context. Stephenson gives an example: “If someone has to go home to a two-story house…it’s a different plan than for someone who lives on a main level.” This attention to detail is vital in shaping the rehabilitation process, ensuring it aligns with medical requirements and the practicalities of each patient’s daily life.

The center’s adaptability is evident in balancing following doctors’ orders with tailoring plans to individual needs. “Everyone is a custom care plan when they come in,” Stephenson emphasizes, highlighting the center’s commitment to personalized healthcare. They consider everything from hospital notes to the patient’s home environment, ensuring a seamless transition from hospital to home.

Regarding family involvement, Stephenson acknowledges the dual role families play as caregivers and partners in the rehabilitation process. “We will do family training,” he explains, outlining how the center prepares families for post-discharge care. This training covers everything from medication timings to daily care routines, empowering families to provide the best possible support at home.


Ongoing Transformation and Staffing Strategies

Huntington Valley Healthcare Center is not only a bastion of personalized healthcare but also a facility in a state of constant evolution and improvement. Stephenson details significant capital investments and initiatives that paint a picture of a facility relentlessly striving for excellence.

“We’re just finishing a fairly large renovation,” he shares, outlining a substantial investment to modernize the center. This renovation, including new flooring, fresh paint, and updated lighting systems, represents Huntington Valley’s commitment to providing patients and staff with a comfortable and contemporary environment.

Stephenson also discusses the critical issue of staffing, especially in the post-Covid era, a challenge at the forefront for many healthcare facilities. “Everyone’s talking continually about nursing shortages and staffing,” he acknowledges.

When Stephenson joined Huntington Valley, one of his primary goals was to address the reliance on temporary registry staff, a practice that, as he notes, often compromises the quality of care. His approach? Cultivating a robust, permanent team. “My goal is to get the registry staff out and build our staff and our culture,” he asserts.

This strategic shift towards building a dedicated in-house team is intertwined with community engagement, mainly through partnerships with educational institutions. “We have CNA schools in here seven days a week…we love hiring new grads,” Stephenson explains. This symbiotic relationship benefits both the facility and the students, offering real-world training and a pipeline of passionate, trained staff for the former.

Embracing Innovation and Expertise

In a sector where innovation and tradition are often blurred, Huntington Valley Healthcare Center demonstrates dedication to embracing cutting-edge technology and specialized expertise.

Stephenson discusses a recent technological implementation that sets the facility apart: Circadia technology. “It uses sonar frequency to monitor breathing rates,” he explains. This technology, resembling a small saucer placed behind each patient’s bed, is more than a monitoring tool; it’s a proactive health management system. The device provides early warnings of potential infections by tracking breathing patterns, enabling preemptive care. ”

The accuracy of Circadia, while not flawless, is impactful. “It’s not perfect,” Stephenson admits, “but it alerts us on the most high-risk patients.” This allows the nursing team, assisted by a remote nurse reviewer, to prioritize patients showing concerning trends. These insights lead to prompt interventions, such as further tests or preventative measures, significantly reducing the likelihood of hospital readmissions.

Beyond technological advancements, Stephenson highlights another critical area of investment: respiratory therapy. Recognizing a growing need, particularly in patients with COPD or asthma, he has championed the inclusion of full-time respiratory therapists. “We can provide all kinds of different breathing treatments,” he says, illustrating the center’s capacity to offer comprehensive respiratory care.

Vision for the Future

The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and the demand for quality care is ever-increasing. Stephenson’s vision for Huntington Valley Healthcare Center is ambitious and grounded in realism to keep up with these changes.

“Making sure we have the right team that’s providing outstanding care is a top priority,” he states, underscoring the centrality of skilled and compassionate staff in delivering top-notch patient care.

In addition, he plans to continue setting clear, meaningful goals with his team. These goals, he clarifies, are not solely driven by financial metrics but are deeply rooted in improving patient care. This goal-setting method is a critical component of the facility’s strategy to adopt new technologies and methodologies that elevate the standard of care provided.

One of Stephenson’s key objectives is to deepen the facility’s involvement with Veterans Affairs (VA) patients. “We have a contract with the VA that we truly value,” he remarks, acknowledging the significance of this partnership. The aim is to attract more VA-tracked patients, a move that aligns with their capability to provide specialized care, thanks in part to the inclusion of full-time respiratory therapists.

The ambition to expand services to tracheostomy or ventilator-dependent patients is particularly noteworthy. “We can start to take more of those trach patients,” he asserts, indicating a strategic move to fill a service gap in the community.


A Journey of Purpose and Passion

In a reflective moment, Stephenson encapsulates what fuels his dedication and drive in his role at Huntington Valley Healthcare Center. His healthcare journey was untraditional, pivoting from a career in marketing to a sector where he finds deeper meaning. “It’s people and purpose,” he articulates, revealing the core motivations behind his career change. This transition in the latter stages of his career reflects a quest for meaningful impact over mere commercial success.

But for Stephenson, the fulfillment doesn’t solely come from patient recovery. It’s also about the human connections he fosters daily. “I love all my staff; I love all the residents here,” he states, underlining his affection and respect for his team and the residents. This sense of community extends beyond the professional realm, as he shares anecdotes about his young son’s enthusiasm for visiting the center and interacting with the residents. “He loves coming in… he’ll bring in cookies for everyone,” Stephenson describes, painting a picture of a familial atmosphere that transcends the typical patient-care provider dynamic.

Stephenson finds his greatest joy in this environment, where personal stories intertwine with professional responsibilities. It’s a place where every individual, whether a patient, staff member or visitor, contributes to diverse experiences and shared humanity.

For Stephenson, every day is an opportunity to make a meaningful difference, to learn from the unique stories of those around him, and to foster an environment where care extends beyond medical needs to encompass emotional and social well-being. His approach to healthcare management, imbued with empathy, compassion, and a deep-seated belief in the potential for recovery and rejuvenation, truly exemplifies the heart of patient-centered care at Huntington Valley Healthcare Center.


Huntington Valley Healthcare Center 

What: A state-of-the-art skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility

Where: Huntington Beach, California



Pacific Sundance Construction Inc. –

We are a full-service, design-build construction partner with a focused emphasis on healthcare. We’ve built a strong reputation in the industry for respect and reliability by providing clients with responsive solutions to address the unique challenges each project presents. Because your partner experience is our utmost priority, we strive to exceed your project goals by providing you with experienced support that deliver quality results.


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