“People for Pine Crest” hold press conference at nursing home
BY TINA L. SCOTT
A group of Lincoln County citizens calling themselves People for Pine Crest held a press conference at Pine Crest Nursing Home (Pine Crest) on Oct. 17, 2023, calling for the Lincoln County Board to “rescind the sale and fully fund Pine Crest in 2024,” in advance of the County Board meeting that evening.
To be clear, matters pertaining to Pine Crest were not on the Agenda for that Board meeting. However, representatives from People for Pine Crest wanted to go on record in advance of the meeting that they continue to be against any proposed sale of the nursing home and they believe they represent the majority of Lincoln County residents in their position. Numerous members of the group reiterated their position during the public comment portion of the Board meeting.
The group maintains Pine Crest is “in the black” financially.
“Contrary to what we have been led to believe, the sky is not falling. In fact, Pine Crest has rebounded from COVID and is right on budget through the end of September,” said Todd Frederick, a member of People for Pine Crest.
In a press release issued earlier that day, People for Pine Crest maintain that “According to North Central Health Care, which operates the nursing home for the County, Pine Crest is running a small surplus through the period ending Sept. 30, 2023. Pine Crest’s improved finances is due in part to changes in Medicaid and these changes are expected to keep the nursing home on solid financial footing going forward.”
“For decades, the people of Lincoln County have been investing in Pine Crest, and we want Pine Crest to be part of our community for years to come,” said Judy Woller. “To do that, we need to make good decisions as a community and that will require transparency. That’s why we are demanding a full independent financial audit of Pine Crest with a public report of its findings.”
The group again cited the recent survey conducted by Lincoln County’s two newspapers, the Merrill Foto News and the Tomahawk Leader, and the results published in our Oct. 5 edition. that “85.3% of the 782 respondents replied, ‘Yes,’ they would support an increase in their real estate taxes for five or more years, in order to keep Pine Crest Nursing Home owned by Lincoln County.’
“The County Board should take Pine Crest off the market immediately. Selling Pine Crest to outside interests is not good for the residents, the staff, or the community. It’s time to rescind the sale,” said Dora Gorski.
“The people of Lincoln County are united. We want to keep Pine Crest affordable, accessible, and County-owned so it will continue to provide high quality care. That starts with the County Board fully funding Pine Crest in the 2024 budget,” Don Dunphy said.