Counties failing at Pinecrest

Everything I am about to say concerns us, above the bridge versus those below the bridge. We above cannot do a thing unless we get the legal, lawful, or any other kind of permission needed from those below the bridge. This applies to our hospital in the past, present and future. Somebody from below the bridge and outside of Dickinson County will come forward and rescue our hospital, just as the YMCA rescued us from Crystal Lake and the county board.

Next, we have to address our Pinecrest Medical Care Facility at Powers. Pinecrest is the nursing home owned by Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties that up until four years ago was under the protection of the governor and the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council. Pinecrest was one of 34 facilities, all equal and county-owned, scattered throughout Michigan. In 2013, the five Dickinson County Commissioners, five Delta County Commissioners and nine Menominee County Commissioners did force state Rep. Ed McBroom and state Sen. Tom Casperson to go to Lansing –below the bridge — and put into effect House Bill 4740, Public Act 39 of 2014, which put this Pinecrest facility and all connected with Pinecrest under the control of the three counties. The vote was 110 to 0 in the House and 38 to 0 in the Senate. In other words the three counties, by law, went into the nursing home business. Before the ink was dry and the law put into place with the proper, by law, board of trustees, these people did pull a “coup d’etat,” removing Pinecrest Medical Care Facility Administrator Richard Mapes from his duties, without just cause. Then — not having the necessary knowledge that nursing home facilities such as Pinecrest required an administrator have five to 10 years of actual nursing home administrator experience — they wrongfully placed Pinecrest Director of Nurses Darlene Smith, who did not meet the qualifications, into the administrators position.

Pinecrest and Whispering Pines have deteriorated to the point where Smith is resigning and the Pinecrest board is attempting to replace her with a person who does not have any experience as a nursing home administrator, let alone five to 10 years. This person also does not have a required license. Some agency from below the bridge will come up and attempt to straighten out this mess.

Last, but not least, this Dickinson County Board of Commissioners does not have any written rules, guidelines, bylaws or code of ethics as the other 82 counties in Michigan do. The citizens of Dickinson get a chance to change this when they go to the polls in August and November.

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