Open house for Emery County Care & Rehab
The Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ferron has undergone an extensive remodel this past year. To celebrate the completion of the project an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 13. Alec Stephenson is the director for the care center. Stephenson said the significance of the Oct. 13 date was because that is the 45th birthday of the care center. On this date in 1965, the Emery County Nursing Home Board of Directors held its first organizational meeting. Under the direction of Chairperson Clyde Conover, the eight-person board and its recorder discussed matters concerning specific construction tasks that needed to be completed, bond issues and potential staff, such as the administrator and director of nursing.
"Our residents have always been the life blood of all our efforts. The first residents to be admitted to the facility were Flossie Simonsen, Annie Funk and Margaret Peterson, all admitted on Jan. 3, 1966. On April 13, 1966, the board met and approved the first resident to be admitted from outside Emery County.
From this modest start, Emery County Care and Rehabilitation spent the next 45 years establishing itself as the pre-eminent facility in the state for personal care and home-like environment, all the while employing the finest caregivers in the area.
"It is fitting then, on this special day that we recognize the efforts of our staff, our county commissioners, our board of directors and construction workers in bringing this facility into the 21st century. From the HVAC system that filters, circulates and humidifies inside air every 90 minutes to our computerized, wireless nurse call system to our state of the art kitchen, we now have a true gem that we celebrate and dedicate today. This is an organization that will serve our valued residents and families for many years to come," said Stephenson.
Stephenson introduced Blake Jones who recited the poem the Ragged Old Flag accompanied by Eldon Holmes on the guitar.
A special flag ceremony was held where a flag was presented to the care center from a soldier who is the grandson of Flossie Bailey a resident at the care center. The flag will fly over the care center for six months. Sgt. Jadon Hawkins sent the flag to Flossie.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth thanked everyone for attending the program and open house. "Thanks for being here to celebrate the remodel. We are so excited. The employees have worked many long hours getting ready. We want to thank the care center board and the residents."
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks and Commissioner Gary Kofford attended the ceremony. Commissioner Kofford said, "A year and six months ago they tore off the front end of the building and took the flag pole. It's good to have the flag back again and to honor our Veterans. This building was built in 1965. I was here at that time and changed the boiler from coal to gas. The county had a need for a building for its aging population. Clyde Conover, an Emery County Commissioner at the time saw the vision and carried the vision forward. This building has served the county well since that time with little maintenance.
"The county has spent $2 million on the remodel project and it's money well spent. Everything we did had to be done, to bring an old building up to today's code and standards. The fire marshal gave us a list of things that had to be done. Humidifiers that filter and recycle the air had to be installed. It was expensive. It all came together. There were numerous change orders, but the project is complete. There's not a better place to spend time than here in Emery County. Gary Scott has been the project manager from Carter Construction, the sub contractors have done a super job. There are 40 patients at the care center. The remodel started in the south wing, the west wing and then onto the east wing. The kitchen and old laundry had to remain operational until the new kitchen and laundry were completed. Everyone was great. I didn't know if we'd get to this day. I want to compliment the staff and Alec on how great they did to keep everything running during the remodel. This facility can go forward and serve the citizens of Emery County now and in the future and I was happy to be a part of it," said Kofford.
Commissioner Horrocks said he is grateful to be part of the project. He said it was his and Gary's job to come and work with the contractors. The facility had to have something done and it was a small price to pay to have such a nice facility for those residents who have served our county in the past and we can keep our senior citizens with us in the county. The money for the building came from the community impact board and the county doesn't owe anything on the building it belongs to the county free and clear. "I am grateful to be a commissioner here in Emery County and it is a great place to live," said Commissioner Horrocks.
After the program and flag raising the ribbon was cut with the care center employees, commissioners and members of the Emery County Business Chamber participating. A tour was held of the facility and the open house with refreshments continued throughout the day. In addition to the new kitchen, new laundry, and offices, a formal dining area was constructed near the kitchen. A recreation room which will also serve as a chapel was built where the old kitchen used to be. Landscaping and a new flag pole completed the project.
Board members include: Dan Wells, chairperson, Tom Humphrey, Connie Nelson, Richard Seely, Randy Lake, Ross Huntington and Lori Ann Larsen. Care Center staff includes: Alec Stephenson, administrator, Kamie Conover, RN director of nursing; Ileen Baker, LPN, MDS coordinator; Jarilyn Magnuson, business office manager; Darcy Keele, Human Resources payroll, Becky Nelson, medical records; Natalee Anderson, resident services director; Jayne Richards, activities; Charlene Barney, housekeeping; Barbara Moore, dietary; LaNora Johnson, laundry; Mark Kinsey, maintenance; Brody LeRoy, therapy services, Kalleen Young, restorative therapy; Dr. Charles Canfield, MD, medical director; David Blackwell, Attorney; Bryan Erickson, Traditions Healthcare.