The Western Slope Health Center — formerly El Dorado Medical Care — is doing its best to improve itself amidst a court case involving two nurses from the former facility.
Donna Palmer and Rebecca Smith face charges of alleged elder abuse relating to the death of Johnnie Esco while the facility was still El Dorado Medical Care.
The incident, however, has proven a boon to the recently-purchased facility.
“It’s given us more opportunities to speak with the public about positive changes, for growth at Western Slope,” said Doug Hawkins, RN and administrator of the facility. “We’ve earned trust in the past 10 1/2 months, and many see it for what it is: not a reflection on our services and the care we are providing.”
The facility was bought by San Diego-based Plum Healthcare on June 11 of last year, after Palmer and Smith left the facility, and is now an independently operated health care facility. With new ownership came improvements.
“We put in a state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym, geared for rehabilitative conditioning, upgraded the dining (room) with fancy artwork, linens and china,” Hawkins said.
Laurie Randall, LVN and director of marketing, mentioned the new salon, Spa Sierra, which Hawkins said features “facials, nails and hair” services.
Hawkins also said that the staff has seen improvements, with RNs now on duty 24/7. A full-time dietician has been added, Randall said, rather than having one contracted out. Rooms have been upgraded and improved to be “home-like,” Hawkins said.
The improvements have had a positive effect on the care center. “The resident census has grown by 28 percent,” he said.
“We both grew up here,” Randall said, noting that both are graduates of Ponderosa High School. “We’re providing a service; we want to give back.”
“We’re treating our schoolteachers, neighbors, our own families, and will continue to do so,” Hawkins said.
While Randall has not had her own family in the facility yet, “I would not hesitate to put a loved one there.”
Hawkins and Randall intend to move away from Palmer and Smith and focus on all the positives.
“We want people to understand we are a new company,” Randall said.
“New and improved,” Hawkins added, smiling with pride.
“We’ve worked very hard for our image to be wonderful,” he said, “and we are very wonderful.”
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.