Evansville Manor: Skilled Healthcare & Rehabilitation

From the Administrator

April 2017

Spring has sprung but at the time of this writing it's still a little cool (the warm weather was apparently in February). It seems like we've had ample March winds.

As all of you know we managed through an Influenza outbreak and hope that is over for this season.  However, as I have done previously, until at least May, I want to remind everyone to be sure and get influenza vaccinated, especially prior to visiting our residents, and also especially for children.  Anyone exhibiting respiratory distress symptoms, or if in contact with those who are, should refrain from visiting.  If anything is questionable, or if someone has not been vaccinated for any reason, they should mask, covering both the mouth and nose, when in the building.  The Wisconsin Division of Health advises that influenza has increased in the area, especially for those over age 65.

It should also be noted that any gastrointestinal distress symptoms (often called stomach flu) should also be addressed in the same above manner as indicated for influenza.  AND "ALWAYS WASH THOSE HANDS"!

As most of you know, we were founded as a non-governmental "community project" and have continued to operate in this manner for 46 years.  That means that many in the community conceived the idea, and they and others have continued to provide ownership, governance, oversight, and direction for the facility, and have done so with the Evansville area community in mind.

Recently, on March 27th, most of those people currently involved met to consider various options that might be considered for the future of our facilities.  After much discussion and review, the Evansville Manor Board of Directors was authorized to advance discussions and negotiations proceeding to a possible sale.

This decision resulted from being very mindful of the continuing costs involved in meeting the significantly increasing regulations and, especially, the little to no recognition of those costs by state legislators in the Medicaid funding necessary to finance care for those who cannot, or can no longer, pay for all of the needed care themselves.  No doubt you have heard me speak on this issue previously.  Much of this concern affects, and has affected our staff members personally, as it has very much limited our ability to enhance wage rates in an environment that makes us uncompetitive in the recruitment and retention of valuable employees.

For more than 1 ½ years various strategic planning efforts have been ongoing to consider how we might restructure our operations, continue renovations and remodeling, etc., to continue to service the community and the residents in our facilities.  As many know, our various departments have also been doing this internally as we modify staffing and look for ways to reduce expenditures WITHOUT COMPROMISING QUALITY.  And that is continuing.

A challenge that I might refer to, and it is not necessarily to avoid a sale as that could be very advantageous for all of us, but we want to continue to provide this needed care within in our community and if we can do it as "a local community project" that would be a significant accomplishment.

How do we do that?  Some cost saving measures, e.g., the way we outsource our laundry is being considered.  All of you know that we need additional staff, especially in nursing.  And we need to consider replacements for a number of those nearing retirement within the next few years.  You as residents, family members, and our staff are the best resource for recruitment.  Of course we need continual resident referrals but we have sometimes been limited by staff availability.  We will have to limit the percentage of long-term Medicaid/Family Care residents to reduce the significant losses experienced unless state legislators are willing to enhance reimbursement.  As in the past, we have always tried to share in our profitability with staff through payroll wage rates and our 401k plan.

As you know, I've been here since the beginning, 1971, and I look forward to our continuing on in this adventure together with all of you for some time yet.  Any suggestions are very welcome.

As has been suggested previously, we are including a listing of the employees who will celebrate Evansville Manor employment dates during this coming month. We, therefore, want to acknowledge all of those employees accordingly and you will find the current month's personnel in the attached.  Congratulations to all.  We appreciate your loyalty and dedication to us and our residents.

Have a great month and remember the coming of a "warm spring" will be here soon.  Happy Easter to all.  He has risen!

Cliff