The Continuum builds on 25 years of growth, service to Northern Nevada
RENO, Nev. — Back in the early 1990s, Diane Ross saw there little or no community-based healthcare resources in Washoe County.
Ross, along with a group that included her late husband, Jerry Cruitt, began planning a venture to address those needs.
But it wasn’t going to be easy.
“Looking back, it felt like a perfect storm of setbacks,” Ross said in an interview at her office last week. “The concept was so new that no bank would touch us. Even the SBA (Small Business Administration) turned us down.”
Undeterred, the group managed to put enough money together to found “The Continuum Intergenerational Rehabilitation Facility” in 1993, renting a space at 3700 Grant Drive in Reno.
Ross now serves as CEO and president of The Continuum, which is entering its 25th year of operation.
One of the innovations The Continuum has implemented is incorporating pediatric and geriatric services under one roof.
The practice originally started with an adult day care program, but many patients needed to bring in their families, including young children.
Ross noticed the positive influence when elderly and children interacted.
To this day, at least a few times a day, children will get to interact with elders, Ross said, and vice versa.
The generational diversity extends to The Continuum’s staff of 50 employees, whose ages range from 21 to 75. Ross said the balance of youthful enthusiasm to go along with veteran experience is invaluable to any healthcare practice.
The Continuum also offers adult programs, such as therapies for physical, speech and occupational.
Its ReGenerational Adult Day Club is designed for adults 18 and older suffering from chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or other traumatic brain injuries.
Another program includes the MOD Squad, The Continuum’s Home Safety Risk Team that provides home accommodations and modification services for those in need of assisted living.
Its pediatric care system, meanwhile, includes an early intervention program to improve communication, motor and social skills for young children diagnosed with physical and/or mental disorders.
Along with its health practices, The Continuum presents educational programs and literature for patients’ families.
Ross alluded to many success stories of patients’ recovery, saying they’ve given her great personal gratification.
However, she also monitors patient satisfaction through other methods, including outpatient surveys.
“It’s my job to know what’s going on and adjust to anything to that needs to be fixed.”
To also keep abreast of topics in the caregiver field, Ross is continually involved in many organizations, such as the Caregiver Education and Support Group, Center for Healthy Aging and Nevada Caregiver Coalition.
In the late 2000s, with the help of a $2.3 million loan, according to previous reports, Ross and Cruitt purchased the entire building in which The Continuum was housed, thus doubling its space.
Ross felt at the time it was necessary to support a growing patient population and accommodate expanding programs.
Ross said she is always interested in new concepts for The Continuum, such as eventually introducing “telehealth” programs to rural Nevada via communication platforms such as Zoom or GoToMeeting.com, or by iPhone.
Before starting The Continuum, Ross, a certified speech pathologist, spent two decades as executive director of Nevada Communication Services (NCS), a clinic that served individuals with communications disorders.
The practice had contracts with hospitals, nursing homes and other agencies, including Washoe Medical Center (now Renown Regional Medical Center), for 18 years.
NCS was also part of the forerunning organization of the The Continuum.
While she is proud of The Continuum’s progress over its 25 years from humble beginnings, at some point, Ross said she envisions herself stepping back and letting someone else take over the practice.
“I’d like to find someone who can take it to the next level,” Ross said. “I see someone coming in with fresh eyes who can see what’s possible in the future.”
Anyone with questions or who wants to schedule an appointment can call The Continuum at 775-829-4700.
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