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SPRHC Nursing Home in line for $2 million VA grant

Staff Report

WALSENBURG- The State Veterans Nursing Home at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center has been notified of a $2.1 million grant that will cover 65 percent of the $3 million renovation project at the Veterans Nursing Home.

    In a letter, Don Lawhead, Project Manager at the Colorado Department of Human Services, remarked that the state of Colorado needs to comply with the remaining Federal requirements within 180 calendar days from the Aug. 16, 2010 date of the letter in order for the grant to be awarded.  A list of the requirements was enclosed with the letter but not made public.  The project calls for renovation of the dining area and outdoor areas.

    As the renovation project moves forward, Nursing Home Director Gary Dickey has tendered his resignation to the Hospital Board citing personal reasons for stepping down after 20 years of service.  State Observer Bill Gust noted that Dickey will be missed.

    A new survey process in the works for the nursing home will involve the staff.  The quality indicator survey could be an ongoing process using software that will require frequent input of data.  As the program produces information based on the input, nursing policy could be affected.

    There will be a rate increase at the nursing home with a jump of $17 per day from $77.53 to to $94.59.  This is the single largest increase in six years.  There was a $13 increase in 2004  and a $6 increase in 2009.  The increase is cost-based rather then discretionary.

    The Hospital District posted an operating profit of around $138,000 for July with a year-to-date excess of revenues over expenses at about $693,000. 

    In an executive report, CEO Todd Oberheu indicated that Copper Sands, owners of the Walsenburg Care Center, is considering a purchase of land just west of the health center campus rather then property offered by the county at Fiesta Park.