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County nursing home passes a myriad of recent inspections

PUMPKINS raised on the county farm are available for sale for from $5 to $10 each. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
October 06, 2011
OSSIPEE— Inspectors expected to see chaos when they descended on the County's new nursing home last month but found just the opposite. Some chaos would be expected just seven days after the staff and the home's 103 residents were settled into the new location. But, according to administrator Sandra McKenzie, the home passed three inspections by state officials.

The first inspection was for life safety and McKenzie told county commissioners at their Sept. 28 meeting that NH Department of Health and Human Services found the facility deficiency-free.

Another visit brought seven or eight auditors over three days from the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, the group responsible for taking a good look at the home's assets and expenses to determine the Medicaid reimbursement revenue the county will receive for resident care.

Another inspection was the regular annual inspection the home undergoes for state licensing purposes. These inspectors are charged with thoroughly examining every aspect of the home operation. The only deficiency noted, McKenzie said, was food temperature. McKenzie explained that food warming equipment was purchased for the new home that helps staff get hot meals from the kitchen to the resident rooms or to the dining areas. It was found that the equipment was not working properly and has been replaced.

"It's been very busy since we moved in…I need to point because kudos to the staff first of all handling the move was great. The move was a huge success and the staff needs to be commended for their teamwork, their level of professionalism, and their ability to work with residents to make that transition. Seven days later the State comes and there were seven surveyors. Can you imagine moving into your own home and having guests seven days after you moved in? This is essentially what it was. They expected to see chaos and they saw not a bit of chaos," said McKenzie.

Staff is continuing to work on moving any equipment and supplies from the old home that are needed in the new. As far as the remaining equipment not needed in the new home, it is being offered first to other county departments. After that, the county plans to hold a sale to the public for items such as the adjustable beds. Staff is also removing air conditioners from resident rooms and contacting family members to pick those up. The new home has central air conditioning.

County Farm

Hay, firewood, corn stalks, vegetables, and now pumpkins are for sale at the county farm. One of the farm buildings is full with pumpkins of all sizes that farm manager Will Dewitte says are for sale for $5 or $10 each. Anyone interested in purchasing one or two pumpkins or a whole pile of them is asked to call the county business office at 539-7751.

Sorensen nominated

Commissioner Dorothy Solomon announced that the nominating committee of NH Association of Counties met recently and nominated Commissioner David Sorensen as the Association president. The actual vote will take place at the Association's annual conference to be held in North Conway later this month.

Mileage reimbursement

All the time commissioners spend on county business will cause them to overexpend the mileage reimbursement line if they don't move money from another budget line, explained Sorensen. Commissioners voted Sept. 24 to move some money from the training and conference line to the mileage line. At the Sept. 17 meeting when the idea was first brought up to move the money, Commissioner Asha Kenney was opposed to it. Kenney was absent when the issue was brought up again at the Sept. 24 meeting, and commissioners voted 2-0 to move the money. Both pointed out the extensive amount of miles they have put on their personal vehicles for county purposes so far this year. In addition to attending regular weekly meetings, they also attend department subcommittee meetings, nursing home construction meetings, and sometimes are called in for non-public personnel-related matters or grievances which, under the employee contract must be dealt with in a timely manner. Solomon said she attends many meetings "within her region" and near her Albany home such as UNH Cooperative Extension meetings in Conway and does not bill the county for mileage. Solomon said she travels 60 miles roundtrip from her Albany home to the county complex. Sorensen said it is 52 miles roundtrip from his Eaton home. Kenney lives in Wakefield.

New meeting time

To accommodate the county meeting videographer having time to set up before each Wednesday's meeting, commissioners announced beginning Sept. 24 their weekly meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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