Petitioner explains issues surrounding facility’s closure and effort to reopen

To the Editor:

I would personally like to thank those people who have signed the petitions and have written letters in support of reopening a long-term care facility in Moffat County. I would also like to thank all the local business owners who allowed me place petitions in their stores.

A special thanks goes to Diane Moore for her enthusiasm in helping me petition door to door. I would like to clarify a few issues that have been asked during this petition process. First, the state did not close Valley View, it was Mariner Healthcare, the company that owns it.

Mariner told the employees and the residents, as well as the community, that the biggest reason for closing the facility was because of financial debts. Mariner then explained to the state health department that the main reason for closing the facility was the “inability to maintain competent staff.”

Because of Mariner’s explanation, Moffat County residents have to support the need for a long-term care facility by petitions and letters. The state will then review the evidence before a Medicare/Medicaid license is issued. Without this license, we are limited to private pay individuals and will be unable to accept some patients who need specialized care.

This is why it is crucial that we have the community support to reopen a long-term care facility in Moffat County that can sustain patients for rehabilitation, hospice, adult day-care, respite and skilled care.

Secondly, the prospective buyer of Valley View, who is a longtime resident of Moffat County, and the individuals who may be managing the facility, wish to remain anonymous until such time as the building is successfully purchased. The individuals who are considering leasing the building have been in the medical field for more than 20 years and have excellent knowledge in long-term care. This group of individuals, including myself, understand the community’s need to maintain a respectable facility in our county, and are willing to work with our community to meet its needs.

If anyone has any questions or concerns I would be happy to assist you. You can contact me at 272-3045, or write to P.O. Box 214, Maybell, CO 81640.

If you’d like to sign a petition, they are located at Northwest Health Specialist’s Center, Loaf-n-Jug, Go-fer Foods, Cashway Distributors, Museum of Northwest Colorado, Pam Designs, Golden Cavvy, Bargain Barn, Serendipity, the Galaxy, Village Inn, Furniture Connections, Quality Consignment Store, Dark Horse Liquors, Horizon’s, Independent Life Center, The Kitchen Shop, Robb’s Grocery, Wild West BBQ, CNCC, Freight Damaged Furniture, Dr. Fenton’s office, Maybell Store, R-Family Restaurant, Family Dollar, Visiting Nurse Association of Craig, Loadout Liquors, The Other Place, and the Popular Bar.

Gratefully yours,

Tracey Behrman,

Former recreational

director of Valley View Manor

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