Alva Review-Courier -

Share Convalescent Center buying updated wheelchair van

 

February 4, 2022



For this fiscal year, the Alva Hospital Authority (AHA) budget included up to three wheelchair accessible vans, one each for the hospital, the nursing home and the Homestead retirement center. The number of vans actually purchased was contingent on obtaining grants to pay for them with Share Convalescent Center being first priority.

At Monday night’s special AHA meeting, Share Convalescent Administrator Kelly Parker said the nursing home can no longer wait for the grant. If they want reliable transportation for patients that won’t break down, they need to replace the 16-year-old van currently in service.

Parker said companies that carry vans with wheelchair conversions are not plentiful. He checked with one in Tulsa and two in Wichita. He found a used van that was immediately available at Newby-Vance Mobility. The cost for the 2019 Dodge Caravan with a Braun rear entry wheelchair accessible conversion with 6,000 miles is $43,381. Parker said the company told him if approved the van could be delivered the next day.

Share Convalescent Home has the funds to pay for the van, currently in a money market account. Parker said the nursing home will be able to replace the money in that account in 10 to 12 months. He still intends to pursue the grant for one to three vans, but that application isn’t due until fall. If a grant is received, the nursing home could buy a new van and sell the used one. As for the current 2006 or 2007 wheelchair van, Parker said that could be used by the dietary department and still be available as a backup if needed.

Dr. Kenneth Brown made a motion to approve the purchase of the van, seconded by Greg Bowman. The motion carried unanimously.

Parker said he has come to have a deep appreciation for Tonya Esquibel who handles the convalescent home accounts payable and accounts receivable. Esquibel’s baby arrived eight weeks early, and the nursing home was not prepared for her absence. Parker is doing his best to fill in, but he said the December billing did not go out and January billing will likely be late. Esquibel is expected to return the first of February.

Share Convalescent is also dealing with kitchen supply issues. He said the items they order are not necessarily what they get. For example, when one cut of meat is ordered, a different cut may be substituted.

The number of residents at Share Convalescent has decreased somewhat. Parker said four of their residents died and several skilled nursing patients were able to return home.

The nursing home has managed to increase their staffing levels with local employees. This has cut down on costs while improving patient care. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, Share Convalescent has used agency nurse aides for only ten shifts. In September only two shifts required agency aides, only one in October and none in November.

Parker’s written report shows in fiscal year 2020, agency help cost $213,440 with 1,026 shifts covered. In FY2021 the costs decreased to $27,216 with 131 shifts needed. For July through November of FY 2022, the agency cost has been $3,090 for ten shifts.

 

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