This letter is in reference to Tammy Talley, Administrator of Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula, Montana. It is a letter of commendation that I feel compelled to write, and it is entirely unsolicited.
One of my family members, Marie, has lived at Riverside since September, 2004. This is about the same date that Tammy assumed leadership of the facility. It was at that time that I first met her. Accordingly, I have known, observed and interacted with Tammy in multiple ways over six years. I am in a unique position to comment on her abilities and work performance since several other family members resided at Riverside in previous years when other administrators were present, and I have seen the contrasts.
I believe that Tammy Talley is an excellent leader, administrator and colleague. She holds high standards of performance for the staff which she insists on being honored and maintained. The spirit of the staff — nurses, LPNs, aides, dietary workers, maintenance, and office personnel – is positive, friendly, efficient, competent and helpful, irrespective of the day, time or occasion on which I visit. The physical facility looks and smells clean, well-maintained and attractive.
In the month of August alone, Marie (who suffers from advanced multiple sclerosis) was taken one sunny afternoon on a Riverside bus tour of Missoula neighborhoods featuring beautiful yards and gardens. The riders voted on which was the loveliest and would receive public recognition from Riverside. After a stop for ice cream, the bus returned home, full of happy riders. She was invited to ride the bus, along with a number of volunteer helpers, to attend the Westem Montana Fair. She was encouraged to take a day tour with other residents up to Salmon Lake where there is a handicapped accessible picnic/camping area, fishing area and dock. She invited us to attend the annual (since Tammy) Riverside Pig Roast on the patio and garden grounds. This is a party for residents, their families and guests, complete with bright tents, a delicious buffet and live music. Clearly, Tammy’s philosophy is that residents should be helped to enjoy life to the fullest.
Particularly meaningful to me is the fact that Tammy is always free to see me and to hear my questions/thoughts/suggestions. She greets me with a huge smile and listens without interruption, often taking notes. If it is a matter requiring follow-up on her part, I hear back from her within 24 hours, letting me know the action she has taken. Never once in six years has she ever said, “No, I cannot do that.” Instead I hear, “Let me look into that and get back to you.” I have come to understand that Tammy is not only a great friend to Marie and our family, but she is also an outstanding advocate for the residents who are dependent on her for their life support.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Tammy because I want her to know what I have written about her. You have my permission to use this letter, or parts of it, in whatever ways you consider to be appropriate. My own preference is these remarks be included in Tammy’s performance review, and that they are a pertinent factor when bonuses and salary increases are considered.