Bonne Vie Continuing Care leaders, residents celebrate 5 years; expanded outreach shared

Published 12:30 am Thursday, July 20, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The five years since Bonne Vie Continuing Care opened its doors has been a whirlwind, Executive Director Kenny Blanda said.

Many people have come through the facility doors either for rehabilitation services, transitional services or long-term care.

The doors at Bonne Vie opened in April 2018 at 8595 Medical Center Blvd. and since then it has become a home for some.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Dressed in red capris and a red-and-white striped shirt, Lucille LaBure sat in a wheelchair in the therapy room and proceeded to make those around her laugh, especially Blanda, when they talked about their weekly card games.

LaBure has been a resident for two years and she likes it, she said.

“It’s a good place to be,” LaBure said.

During the past five years Bonne Vie has had more than 10,000 encounters, Blanda said, referring to encounters with people coming in for rehab or admission. Blanda’s mother has been there four separate times for rehab services, and Natalie Shifflett, business development specialist at Bonne Vie, has a relative that has had rehab services there three times.

It adds up, Blanda said.

Changes through the years

There have been some changes since Bonne Vie, which translates to “good life,” opened.

“We have an in-house lab. The in-house rehabilitation services are no longer contractual. Our therapist works directly for us,” Blanda said, explaining they offer the continuity of care. The therapists are not rushing to finish at Bonne Vie then rush someone else for another client.

The continuity of care goes back to the pandemic where, he said, they did not use one hour of contract nursing.

The facility offers a number of different types of rehab; physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy as well as pulmonary rehab, cardiac rehab and ortho rehab, Shifflett said.

They also have primary care physicians and specialists on staff.

“I think it’s a big thing for the community, as well, that we have our medical director or one of his nurse practitioners here. Their office is located in this building so they’re here Monday through Friday,” she said.

This is not typical for a nursing facility in the county, she added.

Blanda said they use their buildings almost as a community center-type environment and COVID prevented them for doing this for a while.

“Now that things are lighting up a little bit, we really want to let the community know we are here. We have a beautiful dining room for meetings, he said.

The room holds between 120 to 130 people.

Shifflett said they are also going to host monthly Lunch and Learn events, where visitors can learn about long-term care placement, sitter services or other topical issues while enjoying lunch.

The July Lunch and Learn will be held from noon to 1 p.m. July 27 and features information from the Mayo Law Firm, Melancon Funeral Home and Home Instead.

The August meeting will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 24 and features Christus Wound Care with Dr. Roussel Clement and Dr. Richard Schleiffer.

From September onward the meetings switch to the third Thursday of the month.

The focus of late has been the rehab services and being a transitional facility, but the long-term care portion of the facility is still a big component of their work, Blanda said.

“We don’t want people to lose sight that we have the long-term care component where people come and live with us for a long time.” he said.

He said the facility was constructed with a forward-thinking view toward Baby Boomers and how they would want something different from the generation before them. Eighty of their 110 rooms are private occupancy.

There are single-occupancy rooms set up like small efficiency apartments with a private shower and bathroom, TVs, desks and recliners, Shifflett said.

Key to success

The biggest key to success is good, solid communication and a great staff, Blanda said.

The staff at the facility and clients have good relationships and are all like family. There have been some staff members that have been part of the parent company for decades and came on board to be part of Bonne Vie, he said.

For more information on Bonne Vie visit or call 409-721-8600.