JCHC, City, County, Public Discuss Veterans Facility

JCHC, City, County, Public Discuss Veterans Facility

A Monday morning meeting hosted by the Johnson County Healthcare Center brought the players involved in the state-run veterans skilled nursing facility that is proposed to be built in Buffalo.

The meeting was scheduled to address the concerns of the JCHC and discuss the matter with the public, the Buffalo City Council and the Johnson County Commission.

The doctors and staff at the JCHC said there has been some misinformation in the community that they were unwilling to care for veterans or that they were concerned about competing with the new veterans facility, and that is not the case, according to them.

They will not be in direct competition, they explained, because the hospital and nursing home are “intermediate nursing facilities,” while the veterans facility will be a “skilled nursing facility.”

Their concerns are centered around the quality of care the veterans will get, the staffing concerns with certified nursing assistants (CNAs) which could become worse with the new veterans facility, and the continued viability of the Amie Holt Care Center due to the possible staffing concerns.

The JCHC, after preliminary discussions with city and county officials at the recent hospital board meeting, drafted and presented a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to both that will essentially have all parties agree that if the veterans facility is built in Buffalo, and if the JCHC is “negatively impacted,” then the JCHC can request a higher mill levy to help in “recruiting and retaining adequate Certified Nursing Assistants and other necessary staff, and that the county commissioners and the city council agree to support those efforts.”

Although the MOU wasn't signed and no action was taken, the city council and county commission agreed to look the MOU over and make a decision at their meetings Tuesday.

JCHC Interim CEO John Osse discussed the tentative agreement between the parties.

The JCHC agreed that, should the city and county agree to the MOU, they would not lobby against the facility being placed in Buffalo.


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