Tamara Meadows, RN-BC, a Board Certified Gerontological Nurse, is the Divisional Director of Clinical Operations for Stonegate Senior Living.

Tamara Meadows, RN-BC, is taking things one day at a time.
Charged with overseeing operations at 13 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in Oklahoma, Meadows has brought her 35 years of long term care experience to bear during this pandemic.
It’s never been easy.
Quite the contrary, it’s often been exasperating as new information seemingly pours in by the hour.
Like every other healthcare facility in Oklahoma, supplies are a constant challenge.
News reports pour in adding to the fear, confusion and fatigue.
But to this point, Stonegate Senior Living has weathered the storm through Meadows’ leadership here in Oklahoma and the staff’s unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of the residents. I’m fortunate I also have three very talented Regional Nurse Consultants, who work along side me to support the facilities, Dawn Watson, RN, Briley Bolin, RN, and Kim Selvey, RN.
“I am just always in awe of our staff, our directors of nursing and administration,” Meadows said. “They are the ones leading their teams to stay strong and not be fearful.”
Stonegate began “battening down the hatches” in early March, restricting visitation and ending communal dining.
“We started at the very beginning and we didn’t hesitate,” she said. “Every day I thank the Lord we did that. We have fared very well so far.”
It’s shown in the safety and well-being of residents and staff.
Flexibility and maneuverability have been key for Meadows and her staff.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” she said.
And calm, clear insightful voices have helped chart Stonegate’s course.
Meadows and Stonegate have relied heavily on the leadership of Dianne K. Sullivan-Slazyk, MBA, BSN, RN., the company’s CCO/SVP of clinical operations and Rhonda Abercrombie, RN, MHA, a former epidemiologist for the CDC, has helped to shape the company’s Pandemic Plan and to ensure the information gets out to where it needs to be as Stonegate’s director of quality.
Meadows is assured knowing she has 24/7 access to those information sources at Stonegate just like her staff has 24/7 access to her.
Looking back, she sees that’s just one of the reasons Stonegate has been so successful.
“Starting early, I think that was the No. 1 thing,” she said. “We started early and hard. We didn’t go at this piecemeal and soft. Every time I think I’m being too hard I think of the evacuations (at facilities across the country). It’s not too hard. This is what we’re trying to prevent.”
Education has also been vital in Stonegate’s success.
Communicating that information in a timely, informative manner has helped decrease the stress level of staff while heightening their IQ of this viral process.
Knowledge truly is power.
“I think everyone feels very confident that Stonegate management is very strong in their guidance and what they’re doing and that gives everybody a sense of security that there really are people at the top that know what they’re telling us,” she said.
“They’re huge on education at Stonegate,” Meadows continued. “They have provided us tons of material to share with our staff. Also the Oklahoma State Health Department has been amazing.”
“I think it’s been educate and educate and educate. I’m getting all the education, but if I’m not sharing that with anyone it’s not doing anyone on the ground floor any good. It’s a matter of making sure they know what I know. I probably feel more secure in our buildings than I would going into Wal-Mart.”
As the Governor’s order came that all Oklahoma nursing home and long term care residents and staff would be tested in the coming days, Meadows said she’s continuing to take it one day at a time.
“I would like the public to know we are diligently, faithfully – every hour of every day – trying to do everything to protect our residents,” she said. “I get emotional because it is that emotional. These residents are our family. We care very deeply what happens.“
“Just as the hospitals are doing everything they can, believe me, so are we and sometimes with much fewer tools.” Visit us at: https://stonegatesl.com/