Arvis and Sheila Tanton, owners of the facility at 210 Pipeline Road, took over the business in 2000 from its former corporate owner, R.W. and Belle McDonell.
Considered the representative smiling face of Carriage House Manor, Arvis is the administrator and owner of the business while Sheila, also a co-owner, remains a “silent partner.”
Arvis’ roots in the nursing home business run deep. After graduating college, he began as a social worker for the Department of Public Welfare, advancing to a nursing home surveyor before rounding out his 14-year service to the state.
“This experience was beneficial in learning how to run a nursing home,” said Sheila, noting that her husband of 35 years spent the next 21 years working as a nursing home administrator in Sherman, Honey Grove, Cooper and Terrell.
“It is just so rewarding to be helping people,” Sheila said.
They have incorporated several family members into the “ultimate in nursing care” business they have created including their daughter, Sharla Tanton Campbell as the fulltime business manager for the past five years and administrator- in-training.
“I really enjoy everything about working with my dad,” said Sharla, who will eventually succeed her father when he retires to travel, work on the farm and go on mission trips. “I admire him, and he makes it fun too. It is such a wonderful opportunity to be a part of one of the best places in Sulphur Springs.”
Sharla and her father have fond memories of working together on a daily basis.
“I have always been a daddy’s girl,” Sharla admitted.
The medical profession runs in their family with her sister, Shandra Tanton, working as a speech therapist at Steps 2 Strides in Sulphur Springs. “Both girls have grown up around this business,” said Arvis, mentioning how much it means that both of his girls have wanted to follow in his footsteps. “And both have spent summers working here, too.”
Each of Arvis and Sheila’s daughters has trained at Carriage House Manor.
But the family ties don’t stop there.
Virginia Tanton, Arvis’ mother, has been on both sides of the desk currently working in medical records handling the 100 full time residents but also as a rehabilitation patient, after surgery.
“It makes no difference to me,” Virginia said with a grin. “Whether I am a patient or staff, they still bring me my coffee. ...But I will say I have the best boss because he lets me off anytime I want!”
“I have the best medical records department around,” Arvis boasted in return on his mom. “We are very family-oriented in everything we do.”
Working at the marketing and admissions desk is Arvis’ sister-in-law, Charlotte Baxter.
“My job is easy,” Charlotte said. “It is easy and fun to market something I totally believe in. We offer the best care. …We are more than a blessing to the residents, but they are a blessing to us. They look at life in a different way, appreciating attention. As a family, we all have the same goal—great care.”
Charlotte added, “I think working for family makes you work even harder.” As her nieces laugh in response, making it clear this light-hearted family shares jokes, stories and—even sometimes—tears together in this business.
But what is it really like working with family?
“I can’t get away with nothing,” Arvis jokingly said. But why would he want to? At Carriage House Manor they offer many fun activities. Arvis confessed to playing the pitcher at a recent baseball game between the staff and the residents.
“The residents won,” Arvis humorously commented. “Because the staff was all wore out!”
They also provide fishing trips to Coleman Park and taekwondo classes, too.
Carriage House Manor also employs fulltime occupational, physical and speech therapists as opposed to contracted staff.
“That is part of the difference here,” said Sharla, noting that they also offer long-term care in addition to fulltime 24-hour care for residents.
“They [the staff] are excellent. We hold our staff to the highest standards,” Arvis said of the 120 beds in 60 rooms his staff manages. “We never rest on our laurels—we are always striving to get better.”
The residents and clients of Carriage House Manor know they are getting a high standard of care because the facility has received a four-star Medicare rating. They are also members in good standing of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, are involved in the Hospital Foundation Board, agricultural events and offer scholarships to graduates.
Carriage House also requires completion of their own inservice for their over 100 staff members. It is also the center for training for Paris Junior College for Certified Nursing Assistants and Licensed Vocational Nurses. Sulphur Springs High School Health Science Technology Class students are also involved at Carriage House Manor, including planning an annual prom for the residents.
“We believe in giving back to the community,” the family agreed.
Along with the onsite rehabilitation and skilled nursing, the residents are treated to fine dining in the cafeteria and professional social services.
“He really believes in Carriage House Manor,” Charlotte said about her brother-in-law as he has little by little remodeled each part. “Arvis really puts his money back into making it the best.”
Carriage House Manor is located at 210 Pipeline Road in Sulphur Springs. To contact Carriage House Manor call (903) 885-3589, fax at (903) 439-2038 or visit the website at www.carriagehouse-manor.com.
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