Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Commission negotiates privitization of infirmary

October 24, 2001

The Leavenworth County infirmary that has drawn taxpayer criticism in the past is on its way to being privatized by a Johnson County business.
On Thursday, Oct. 4, the Leavenworth County Commission agreed to enter into negotiations with Citadel Holdings, a private corporation in Overland Park, for the rights to operate the Leavenworth County infirmary.
The infirmary operation, which has been a source of financial strain for the county, will be reviewed by the corporation in the coming months until a draft of agreement between the company and the county can be reached.
Leavenworth County Commissioner Joe Daniels said he was optimistic about the infirmary being managed by the corporation because of their prior experience in dealing with convalescent homes.
"It works for us because they have done this before," Daniels said.
The corporation currently runs similar operations in Moline, Dexter, Winfield and St. Joseph, Mo.
If the corporation does assume responsibility of the infirmary, Daniels said all residents that are currently at the home would be allowed to stay there.
"The idea is that the people that live there will stay there," he said. "We didn't want anyone to have to leave."
The county would retain the role as manager of the facility if the corporation takes over, Daniels said.
The long-term plans for the corporation is to eventually build a new facility either on the existing land the infirmary sits on or at another site.
"They want to build a new site eventually," Daniels said. "They think the community is right for a large, bigger retirement, nursing home-type facility."
Although the infirmary has drawn criticism from county residents in the past because of escalating costs, Daniels said keeping the infirmary is the right thing to do.
"A lot of people have said dump it," he said. "We realize it costs money, but the fact is we are trying to provide a service, good health care, to those people.
"We felt there was an obligation there on our part for the residents as well as some of the support staff."

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