President Dale Sprague called the most recent meeting of the McPherson Rotary Club to order. Larry Williams introduced Eric Litwiller, Director of Development for The Cedars, as the speaker.
Litwiller gave the club an overview of The Cedars community, which includes over 300 residents in the different levels of care, and some 250 staff, making them one of the largest employers in McPherson County.
Approximately half of the residents live in the independent-living Village, which are primarily duplex units similar to condos. There is a waiting list for these units, and an additional duplex to accommodate this demand is under construction now. The other residents are split roughly equally between the Assisted Living building, and the skilled nursing neighborhoods – including the Cedars Houses at the corner of Maxwell and First Street. Rather than dedicating a specific wing for dementia care, The Cedars has placed their memory care residents throughout the skilled nursing neighborhoods. Although this requires additional training so that all staff members can work with these specialized nursing situations.
Litwiller noted that The Cedars is committed to providing superior care by their top-quality staff, and this includes providing extra training to the nursing staff in the area of memory care. As part of their efforts to ensure the best possible level of care, they have created, and are currently in the process of raising funds to endow, a scholarship fund. This will allow for on-going education and certifications for staff members at The Cedars.
Although government cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements have cut $100,000 out of the budget for the current fiscal year, The Cedars is not sacrificing the level of care. Instead, they are looking at more efficient ways of utilizing space within their facilities and at additional sources of revenue. This includes the possibility of opening a café, and the recent establishment of Short-Stay Rehabilitation for those who have spent at least three days in the hospital and have received a doctor’s order for skilled care.
Finally, Litwiller discussed several ways in which the community could continue to financially support The Cedar’s important mission in McPherson. These include the purchase of gift annuities through The Cedar’s Development office, annual giving toward the Resident Assistance Fund, and planned giving by including The Cedars as a percentage beneficiary in estate planning and trusts.
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