KAMSACK — The Kamsack Hospital’s reduced hours of service is a concern of the board and residents of Eaglestone Lodge of Kamsack.
The Lodge’s July newsletter, prepared by Doug Elsasser, the Eaglestone board’s secretary, reminds Eaglestone residents and their families that the shortage of nurses and lab workers at the Kamsack Hospital will result in drastic reductions in services offered.
“Starting July 13, all in-patient beds will be temporarily closed,” the newsletter said. “The emergency room will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
“After several meetings with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), members of the legislative assembly, and provincial cabinet ministers, Kamsack community leaders were told that until more staff is hired, the hospital cannot provide both emergency services and inpatient care.
“The present hospital administrator is leaving in August and a new person is being hired,” it said. “Ironically, this development occurs at a time when two new doctors are expected to arrive in Kamsack, raising the total number of Kamsack doctors from two to four. The two new doctors have passed their initial examinations under the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program, and are awaiting license approval by the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“Accommodations and contract arrangements for the two new doctors have been completed by the Assiniboine Valley Health and Wellness Foundation Inc., a community based non-profit corporation and registered charity that was formed in 2013. The AVH&W Foundation raised $2.4 million locally to build and maintain the Assiniboine Valley Medical Centre that attracts doctors to practice family medicine in Kamsack.
“While the Foundation has achieved its goal of bringing doctors to Kamsack, the SHA, which staffs and operates the Kamsack Hospital, has failed to meet public health care expectations,” it said. “All of this has created more difficulties for Eaglestone Lodge and the Kamsack Nursing Home whose elderly residents rely on hospital services.
“Eaglestone’s special care aide manager, Kathy Wishnevetski, reminds families of residents that the upcoming hospital service reductions are not something that she or her staff can control.”
“We will do our best,” Wishnevetski said.
“Kamsack is fortunate to have a robust Emergency Medical Service (EMS) provider whose fleet of ambulances will be busy moving people to hospitals in Canora, Yorkton and Regina,” the newsletter said. “As stated, the inpatient bed closure in Kamsack is temporary. Community leaders in Kamsack are trying to keep things running and will continue to prevail upon the premier and his cabinet ministers to fix this problem.
“Please add your voice to restore hospital services in Kamsack,” the newsletter said.
Activities co-ordinator report
Amanda Yaremko, the Lodge’s activities co-ordinator, led nine residents to Madge Lake for a wiener roast and ice cream. Travelling in the Kamsack Handi-Bus, the group made two trips in June and is planning to go again July 15. Sylvia Negraiff performed at Eaglestone on June 22, singing and playing her guitar, while the Polka Pals brightened up the June 15 monthly birthday party. Daily exercise, bingo games, cookie making, and more birthday parties are on for July.
Special care aide manager report
Presenting the special care aide manager’s report, Kathy Wishnevetski said that the Lodge currently has 20 full-care residents and eight residents living in the independent rental suites.
“I feel everything has been going well with staff,” Wishnevetski said, adding that although she will be on holiday from July 18 to 21, she has a knowledgeable worker taking her place who is almost done her schooling for a registered nurse.
“I will do more training with the new staff and will get them started on the free courses for now,” she said.
Kitchen and housekeeping report
In the kitchen and housekeeping report, Tricia Sheptak said that the Lodge has a new barbecue, thanks to Nancy Brunt and the Anglican Church women, and the residents are liking the barbecued food.
The new ice machine is a hit with residents who like ice cubes in their water, Sheptak said. Housekeeping is going well and all the exterior windows are washed. The short-term rental suites have been busy and brought in $1,615 in June.
Thanks mainly to the generous financial support of the Chernoff Family Foundation which donated $10,000, and the $5,000 combined donation from Fedoruk Seeds of Kamsack and Canterra Seeds, Eaglestone showed a surplus of $11,661 in May, the newsletter says. Donations in memory of, or from, the Schindler, Hordichuk, Negraiff, Adamyk, Fesik and Moore families contributed $1,580.
Adjustments in staffing levels made to match the needs of 20 full-care residents continue to reduce expenses, it said. “We thank our dedicated employees for the extra effort required.”
A new brochure, written and designed by Eaglestone’s board of directors, has been printed and distributed to 10 locations in Kamsack, Canora and Yorkton.
Eaglestone Lodge - A Place That Cares was also sent to five rural municipalities and nine towns and villages with a letter asking community leaders to give the brochure to anyone considering assisted living.
Now that the promotional video, brochure and poster are completed, Eaglestone will make sales presentations to senior citizens, drop-in centers, churches and other interest groups, the newsletter said. “Anyone willing to host a sales presentation can contact our office manager Karen Bodnaryk at 306-542-2620.
“To view the nine-minute promotional video, go to our website.”