MISSION VIEJO, Calif., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign™ group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, assisted living and urgent care companies, today announced that voting has begun at www.ensigneprize.com to select the Ensign-affiliated skilled nursing facility that has done the most in the last 12 months to transform the typical "day-in-the-life" of residents and patients. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20071213/LATH168LOGO) "Our goal with E-Prize! is to foster innovation through competition, and encourage caregivers everywhere to rethink the delivery of long-term and rehabilitative care in a true, patient-centered way," explained Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer. He noted that part of Ensign's mission is to help the entire skilled nursing industry improve quality of care, and the E-Prize! is one way to do that. He also added that the applications and winner are being shared publicly via www.ensigneprize.com, remarking that "It's hard to vote for just one!" Dave Sedgwick, who spearheaded the development and oversight of the competition, said, "Innovation and accountability are natural by-products of the locally-controlled, empowerment-based operating model employed by Ensign-affiliated skilled nursing facilities." He pointed out that this empowerment culture attracts unique caregivers and leaders, who are willing and anxious to revolutionize care, rather than rely solely on traditional methods and mindsets. "Operating within this unique culture, the E-Prize! entrants have demonstrated that when front-line leaders and caregivers are allowed to chart the course, patients and organizations can benefit from the creativity, passion and innovative solutions of the people who are closest to the challenges and opportunities of day-to-day caregiving," he added. Members of the public are invited to visit www.ensigneprize.com before March 31, 2012 to cast their vote for the facility that has done the most to transform the day-in-the-life of their residents. The E-Prize! winner will be announced in early April. About the E-Prize! The E-Prize! is The Ensign Group's $150,000 patient-centered competition to transform the delivery of long-term care by redefining the typical "day-in-the-life" of nursing home residents. The idea of catalyzing innovation through competition was inspired by similar competitions in science, space exploration and other fields. Participating facilities will share their discoveries openly in order to encourage other skilled nursing providers to participate in transforming long-term care nationwide. About Ensign™ The Ensign Group, Inc.'s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services at 104 facilities, three hospice companies and five home health businesses in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon. Each of these facilities is operated by a separate, wholly-owned independent operating subsidiary that has its own management, employees and assets. References herein to the consolidated "organization" and "its" assets and activities, as well as the use of the terms "we," "us," "its" and similar verbiage, are not meant to imply that The Ensign Group, Inc. has direct operating assets, employees or revenue, or that any of the facilities, the home health and hospice businesses, the Service Center or the captive insurance subsidiary are operated by the same entity. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net. SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.