Nursing home hires admissions/marketing director

Lisa Buehnerkemper was formally introduced as the admissions and marketing director of the Piatt County Nursing Home at the county’s nursing home committee meeting on Jan. 4. The position was created to help promote the nursing home in an effort to increase its census, i.e. fill more of its beds.

“It’s good to be part of the team,” said Buehnerkemper, a former director at Carle Arbours and more recently an advocate for Piatt County Services for Seniors.

“I’ll be out in the community meeting with doctors and providers, and community programs and working to communicate what our services are, and just create that relationship that hasn’t been there for a while,” she added.

County Board Chairman Randy Keith admitted the nursing home business has become more competitive, making it more difficult for standalone homes like Piatt County to fill beds.

“Things in the nursing home business aren’t where they were 10 years ago. Things have changed. There’s a lot of competition,” he said. “And standalone, non-profit facilities like we have are a little disadvantaged, so we need to really let people know we’re going to take good care of your loved ones.”

Nursing Home Director Scott Porter feels the hiring of Buehnerkemper is a good start.

“I feel like Lisa is a very key component for us at this time of rebuilding. She has all the skills necessary and background for us to kind of move forward and re-engage some of our community partners,” said Porter.

Also at the nursing home committee session, Porter said the application deadline for the Director of Nursing opening was extended through last week in an attempt to widen the candidate field from the eight who had initially applied.

“I’m still hoping we get more applicants from a recent ad,” he commented, saying recruitment could be an option of the application process does not lead to a hire.

Kirby Labs proposal
Porter presented a draft proposal from Kirby Medical Center to provide lab work for nursing home patients. He said the cost would be comparable to Missouri-based Gamma Labs, which currently provides the service.

“The difference may come down to services,” he said, promising to get more detailed information before a decision is made. He said Gamma does provide supplies for taking labs, something he would clarify in the Kirby proposal.

Santa visit
Committee member Ray Spencer complimented Porter on his portrayal of Santa Claus, when he dressed up as the Jolly Old Elf and delivered presents to residents.

“I thought that was very nice, and above the call of duty,” said Spencer.

Porter has portrayed Santa each of the past four years at the nursing home, and this year his two daughters assisted as his “elves.”




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