Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No wrangling over quality of senior care

    It was dismaying to read Scott Burpee’s comment that he will be “wrangling” over the enforcement issue in the service agreement by the county with Safe Haven to provide quality senior care (“County seeks assurances on senior care,” June 7). One wrangles with cattle or horses, not seniors.
    I am not one to speak out much in public, but I can no longer sit back. I have watched, listened and read over the last years all that Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation was trying to accomplish to keep the quality of care that Blaine Manor has provided for our seniors in their fragile years. There would be no issue if this had been taken to a vote by our public in Blaine County, as it should have been.
    A vote for a bond to fund Blaine Manor until Croy Canyon Ranch was built and to provide for a new skilled and assisted-living facility that would be a not-for-profit, local organization that understands the kind of quality we in the Wood River Valley have always expected. For Commissioners Schoen and Greenberg to deny that vote was the real shame. We have voted for $30 million jail facilities, trail systems and $30 million school bonds, and the list goes on.
    There is no doubt in my mind, despite a few naysayers here and there, that a bond would have passed for senior care and we would not be wasting time wrangling over anything. We would be on our way to a quality facility with quality care carried over by those wonderful workers at Blaine Manor.
    There is a lot of talk about this issue behind the scenes, and I have heard a lot of dismay expressed because of the commissioners’ decision. It is time for people to come out from behind their doors and express to the public and to the commissioners that this is the wrong path. Get to the meetings that are going on. Check the Blaine County agenda calendar. Where are the voices of those 600 people who signed the petition this past spring for a vote? This needs to be done now before Blaine Manor’s skilled nursing license is turned over to Scott Burpee and Safe Haven. It is not too late to get this issue in for a November vote, and somehow there will be a way to fund Blaine Manor until a new facility is built. I encourage all of you who are talking about this among yourselves to speak out now before it is too late. We are going to lose a lot of great people in the valley who will move away because there will be no quality senior care. This would be terrible.
Mike McCann

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