2013-09-26 / Front Page

Medical care Facility

boasts oFFerings

MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility has seen its share of bad publicity lately, but its employees and residents want the public to know they’re more than budgets and meetings – they’re family. In fact, the 80-bed facility and nearly 120 employees create an extended family large enough to ensure that no resident is ever alone … or bored.

According to the MCF Activities Director Tina Burnis, the facility boasts a chapel, day rooms, three gardens, outdoor recreational areas, an activity room, and a commons area. Currently, the facility is working to reconfigure rooms to create more privacy, without more cost, for residents.

Every day, residents of the facility get to choose from a variety of activities and meals to keep them happy.

“We just have so many things,” Burnis said.

Every month, residents visit local restaurants, take trips to various places such as the zoo and garage sales, and participate in social clubs, poker nights, and knitting groups. Special events, such as the “prom” and carnival during national nursing home week in May, are also celebrated.

“We’re getting out of that stigma of a nursing home,” Burnis said. “If you can’t be home, this is a heck of a good place to be.”

The facility is an “Eden Alternative” registered nursing home, she explained, which means the staff focuses more on patientcentered care.

“We try to prevent helplessness, hopelessness and boredom,” she said. “And I believe we do a really good job of that.”

Area resident Kay Lawrence can attest to the care received at the facility, as her husband, Leo, is currently a resident. According to Lawrence, her husband has spent the past three months in four different hospitals both in the Upper Peninsula and downstate.

Having an option close to home, she said, has been a “blessing”.

“He’s doing so much better,” she said. “Our goal, of course, is to get him well enough to go home.”

Burnis, who has been with the facility for over 20 years, says people like the Lawrences make the recent drama surrounding the facility, which is struggling financially, harder to take.

“We truly are a home, and the people that work here – they care,” she said. “All this negative stuff right now is hurting the elders, it’s hurting the employees.”

According to Burnis, there is more to the facility than just treating the residents.

“Whatever’s personal with them – we know them,” she said. “You could ask me about anyone here and I could tell you what they did, what they do now, past and present … it’s all about knowing the people and making it comfortable, and making them feel embraced and loved.”

Burnis said she and the rest of the MCF staff welcome the public to check out the place so many have, do, or will call home.

“If you haven’t had a loved one here, you more than likely will,” she said. “I invite people up and see what we have for a home.”

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