Letters to the editor
Wards can get excellent care from private providers
I am writing in response to Mr. Wehmeyer's letter in the newspaper this week.
It seems he needs to hear some real facts about private providers I am the guardian of a woman with Down Syndrome who gets her services through a private provider. She is surrounded with people who care for her and about her.
Her staff members are well trained and her home is beautiful and well maintained. I know this because I am very involved in every aspect of her life. I don't sit on the sidelines and let an institution management tell me what is going on with her.
The private provider that she receives her services from is governed by the state of Missouri and has to comply with the Certification Principals set by them.
They are closely monitored by state inspectors who come in on a regular basis as well as the Department of Mental Health. The staff has to go through rigorous background checks and mandated training before they are able to work with any individuals.
The staff, in turn, is monitored by a very hands-on management team. There is a registered nurse on staff and she has access to community doctors and specialists to care for her medical needs. There is no state doctor telling me how she is.
We have the same doctor and she has an appointment just as I would do if I needed one. She is an active member of her community with access to her own money.
She does not count her money independently but she knows it is hers and what it buys.
She has choices. Do your family members know how much money they have and how it is spent every month? Do your family members get their groceries at the local store with their own money, or are they eating what is put in front of them with no choices?
My ward does not live in unsanitary conditions nor are her medications stored improperly. Her furniture is new and purchased in her community furniture store where she chose it herself.
As I have mentioned before, the company is licensed and has proper accreditation through the state of Missouri and the reporting standards are as structured as those in any state institution, maybe more so because they have to go through so many reporting procedures.
As far as your reference to accountability, this company has to account to the state, the local regional center as well as their own board of directors. They also have to account to me as her guardian and I am very pleased with the care and concern she receives. She also receives 24-hour oversight.
As I go through this holiday season, I am glad my ward is where she is because I know the care she receives is the best not just now at this time of year, but all year long.
In closing, I would like to mention that your family members are lucky to have someone who cares as there are so many individuals that don't, but you really need to look at privatization as a whole and not dismiss the opportunity just because one home was not run properly. There are many, many more that are.
-- Michelle Rodabaugh
El Dorado Springs
Appreciation of local doctor
I want to write in special appreciation for the good doctors and staff at Nevada Regional Medical Center. Too often we fail to give recognition to our dedicated doctors and nurses. When our senior doctors retire we miss them, and I believe Dr. Turner is a professional surgeon.
He has been my surgeon since 1990, and I believe he is one of the best.
In appreciation for the good care given to me while in the hospital for surgery.
-- Mary Lou Ijam