County board to vote on leasing empty wing of nursing home to Rosecrance

County board to vote on leasing empty wing of nursing home to Rosecrance

URBANA — County board members will hold a special meeting today to consider a lease agreement with Rosecrance Health Network to use one wing of the Champaign County Nursing Home for addiction treatment for about two dozen patients.

The meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Brookens Administrative Center, will precede a regular county board committee-of-the-whole meeting.

No details of the agreement were included in the special-meeting agenda.

But a request for proposals issued last month in connection with the possible sale of the nursing home disclosed that the county has been approached by a nonprofit corporation about leasing an empty wing of the nursing home on a short-term basis — six months, with a clause allowing month-to-month extensions — that would yield the county more than $16,000 a month.

Rosecrance would also contract with the nursing home to provide meals, linen service and limited cleaning service.

County board Chairman C. Pius Weibel said Monday that under the lease agreement, the county would be paid $16,860 a month for use of the space for inpatient addiction therapy for patients who would stay at the facility for up to 45 days.

"They're all screened ahead of time. They're all, so to speak, 'dried,'" he said. "This is a volunteer basis. They're not being forced to go here. It's basically their decision to be here."

Patients and staff in the Rosecrance wing would use a separate entrance on the east side of the nursing home, and Rosecrance patients would not intermingle with nursing home residents, he said.

"There already are fire doors and we will have combination locks in both directions," he said. "There will be Rosecrance employees there during normal working hours, and at nighttime, there will be a security person there."

The nursing home and Rosecrance residents "wouldn't mix at all," Weibel said.

He said he thinks the proposed agreement would help the county and Rosecrance.

"Rosecrance has been providing therapy in the community for some time, and they needed a temporary place, and we can accommodate that," he said. "And it does bring us some extra money for a while."

County board members have been briefed on the agreement in recent weeks, and Weibel said he believes it will be approved.

Separate meetings were also held with nursing home staff and family members of nursing home residents.

"We were concerned about family members at the nursing home who might have some negative feedback. But we had a meeting last week and we almost had a negative comment, but we didn't," said Weibel, who estimated 60 to 80 people attended. "It was very supportive.

"They had questions. They were most concerned about intermingling. But the idea that they would be entirely separate and that the only connection would be closely monitored and that it would only be the exchange of food or linens across the doorway, I would say they had concerns but they were very satisfied with the answers."

The lease agreement would begin April 1 and Rosecrance patients would start moving into the facility in mid-April, Weibel said.

Use of the nursing home would be an interim solution for Rosecrance while it is assessing a permanent site in the community, he said.

The county nursing home, which has 243 beds, had an average daily census of about 136 in January, according to a report by the home's manager.

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whatithink wrote on March 13, 2018 at 9:03 am

The people have voted to sell this craphole!  Quit finding ways to not sell it and quit wasting our tax dollars.  If this place was such an asset to the county and it's citizens, it would be full of patients all the time.  It is nothing but a money pit that is, and has always been a poorly run facility.  I've had close family and some close elderly friends that chose to go there, and the quality of care(If you can even call it that?) has always been lacking and needs to go!