GREEN RIVER – Officials at Castle Rock told the Sweetwater County Commissioners the nursing home has officially changed hands after several previous discussions about the financial situation at the hospital.
Several months ago, the Sweetwater County Commissioner provided financial help to Castle Rock while also hearing a presentation by Mission Health, who was interested in taking over the nursing home portion of the hospital. On Tuesday, Castle Rock Chief Executive Officer Bailey Dockter told the commissioner Mission Health received its license on April 25 and took over on May 1. The new name of the nursing home is Mission at Castle Rock Rehabilitation Center.
Dockter said Mission is more focused on the rehabilitation of a patient. She also said they have already established relationships with Cheyenne and the Department of Health.
“It was a painful process. It certainly wasn’t easy,” Dockter said of turning the nursing home part over.
There was some turnover during the switch but no residents of the nursing home were displaced. Chairman Wally Johnson asked about the turnover. Dockter said there were 106 employees and the center lost about 10 percent of the employees because of the switch. She said Mission is currently hiring CNAs and support staff but have all the licensed nursing staff.
Bailey said the financial outlook for the hospital has gotten better, but they did have to make some changes for the hospital to survive. She also said they will be moving forward with the 6th penny projects as well.
Castle Rock Board Member Bob Gordon was also in attendance. He said they were anxious about the caliber of company that would take over the nursing home and had interviewed another company as well. He said Mission is about individual care.
“Not everyone likes to eat breakfast at the same time. Some people like to sleep in,” Gordon said. “We are pleased Mission takes the approach of individual care. It helps restore some dignity and sovereignty to these folks.”
Commissioner Reid West thanked Castle Rock for coming to the commission and keeping them informed. West said he was happy to see Mission focus on the rehabilitation but asked if that meant there would be fewer long-term stay beds. Dockter said they would not lose any long-term beds.
Legal representative for Castle Rock George Lemich said there has been a void in the community for a long time with rehabilitation care. He spoke about the old medical office buildings across from Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County and how there is a company that is working on transforming them into a similar rehabilitation center, as well as an Alzheimer’s facility.
Lemich also thanked the commission for their financial support.
“We know you took a great risk coming to the financial assistance of Castle Rock,” Lemich said. “By doing so, you kept it open for the community instead of closing its doors.”
West said he felt good about the decision and was happy with more focus on the rehabilitation. He also thanked Dockter for her openness and transparency on the situation at Castle Rock.
“You are mature beyond your years,” West said.
A very emotional Commission Don Van Matre was also very pleased everything was moving forward. He said changes had to be made and some hard decisions were also made to keep Castle Rock open. He said he believed good judgement was used in changes at the hospital as well as Mission Health being selected.