The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Letters to the Editor

 


Rooted Reflections

Getting the Courier is always a time to reflect on my roots. I enjoy the feature writers, the lady from Nashua, Mrs. Honrud, and the lady from Saco. Vaupel borders on the surreal, but I know there are a number of subscribers who believe in his twisted stats, etc. I was born and raised in Valley County. Here in Arizona due to my wife’s ill health.

-Carlo Porteen,

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Welcome to Nashua

I just wanted to take this time to thank the Nashua community and all of Valley County and adjoining area for their great hospitality and care. You have all been great, as I have transformed from a tramp to a person whom everyone looks forward to seeing on a daily basis.

A great little community, by the way. I've been homeless, but have managed to get several jobs while I've been here in Montana.

I started out doing guard duty and have filled many positions since then. I've been a business person's greeter, helped on a farm, been a street greeter, a part-time swamper, have helped to maintain speed around the small town, helped to raise a crop this year and just an all-around person for the small town of Nashua.

Thank you everyone for the welcome, regardless of my looks and such, and I hope to be around for quite awhile more

-Fred Itis,

Nashua

HLRC/HMS

The past several days have been filled with mixed emotions, a roller coaster of a ride. Separations, anticipation, adjustments, new faces, new surroundings, all jumbled together. Since Karl Rude met with the residents of The HiLine Retirement Center of Malta on August 24, and informed us of future plans for closing the nursing home and become re-certified as only an assisted living facility, it has been a whirlwind of activity for my family. I chose to move as soon as possible. The result is that I am now in a very nice room at Sweet Memorial Home in Chinook surrounded by a friendly, welcoming staff.

I want to thank the caregivers, providers and the general staff at HLRC for the kind, friendly, compassionate and loving care I received during my 18 months as a resident there. There have been several wonderful nurses and CNAs who have put up with my jokes(?) and complaints, teasing and frustrations - local nurses and travel nurses. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me.

A lot has been said about the shortage of nurses and CNAs in Malta and the surrounding area. There is a shortage of RNs, LPNs, and CNAs in the whole country and we are lucky to have as many as we do. Travel nurses, rent-a-nurse or contract nurses are vital to the caregiver business and they are more expensive than local nurses. That’s why using travel nurses should be done sparingly and with good judgement. At HLRC, there were times when more help was scheduled than was needed, resulting in at least one being sent home and paid wages for a full shift plus mileage. A waste. Other times, a CNA, for example, would be confirmed for just an 8 hour shift so was paid whatever her hourly wage was plus mileage. If her wage was, say, $14/hr and she lived 300 miles away, her pay would have been $112 + $300 or $412, but if that same person worked 3 or 4 days, it would spread out the travel expense. Another waste is giving more overtime to travelers who work at a considerably higher hourly rate than local nurses who would be glad to work more hours. It makes no sense. Common Core math? It seems obvious to me that management is the problem.

When making a decision to close the nursing home, why all the secret meetings? Why didn’t the board have a public forum? There are well educated, experienced people on that board who should have the interest of the community at heart. It’s difficult to believe that they didn’t at least seek advice and counsel of other members of the community before making a decision of this magnitude. Karl Rude works FOR the HLRC. Not the other way around.

One should also remember that these financial problems didn’t just appear in the last year. HLRC’s problems began years back with many questionable decisions about remodeling, spending money recklessly and it seems to continue to this day. The HLRC is (or was) a good place for the seniors of Phillips County. Isn’t there some way to save it? Is it possible to stop the decertification process until some important questions are answered with a straight answer? Is there some way HLRC can become solvent again? Closing the nursing home will have a tremendous negative effect on Phillips County and the city of Malta.

The mental and emotional stress on residents and their families has been difficult to experience and observe. I think it’s a form of elder abuse. What else would you call separating families, uprooting people in their 90s and sending them to strange places with all new faces?

P.S., Regarding the article last week where Becky Ewing said she was let go because she wasn’t a team player – I wonder on whose team? She certainly was a team player for HLRC and a great one at that!

There’s a lot that doesn’t seem right with this management company – all the secrecy and intimidation. Why?

-Dorothy Johnson,

Chinook

More HLRC

We need a complete audit of the Hi-Line Retirement Center to clear up a lot of questions going around the county.

Here is my question:

Expenses: 160 hours per month per employee at $18.75 per hours equals $3,000 per month multiplied by 12 months equals $36,000 per year times 50 employees equals $1,800,000.

Income: 50 patients at $7,000 per months equals $4,200,000 per year.

I’ve heard rumors that the rent-a-nurse cost $2,000 per shift. Two shifts would be $4,000 per day multiplied by 365 days comes to $1,460,000 per year. That is almost as much money that is paid to the other 50 employees. The wage totals comes to $3,260,000 per year. That leaves $940,000 to pay other expenses plus the $500,000 raised from the fundraiser. I understand that they are $250,000 in debt.

Looks to me that there is more money going out the back door than is coming in the front door.

If the rest home closes then the clinic and hospital will be hit with a hardship as a lot of the patients use the hospital and clinic quite often.

The employees without jobs may have to leave town to find jobs. For everyone that leaves means $36,000 not being spent in the community.

What is all the big secret in having a meeting and then telling everyone not to talk about what was said outside of the center doors.

Also, about a board member asking some questions about the problems involved and you ask them to resign. Things sound kind of fishy to me.

I’m asking the community to get behind me and help push for a complete audit.

-Noel Emond

Malta

 

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