Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty teeth.

First Inaugural Address of George Washington...April 30, 1789

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Abraham Lincoln said:

"In this age, and in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it nothing can suceed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions."

James Madison Declared

The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the PEOPLE altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE. (Federalist Papers, No. 46, p.294; emphasis added.)

Monday, August 11, 2008


This month's American Journal of Nursing contains an interesting article entitled "Care Suffers When Nursing Homes Switch to a For-Profit Status". I don't believe it is the intention of the McHenry County Board to make Valley Hi a for-profit entity but just to bring the budget under better control. However there is always the temptation to save more and more money and then at some point patient (resident) care is compromised. So one has to be very diligent in pursuing saving vs. patient welfare.

Researchers from Harvard University took a look at changes in payer mix, staffing ratios, occupancy rates, and a spectrum of quality control indicators. What they found was nursing homes that tended to deviate from the "non-profit" side of the spectrum towards to "for profit' side generally provided lower quality care.

According to Charlene Harrington, professor of sociology and nursing in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Literature has confirmed that nonprofit institutions are much better in general," she said. "They have higher staffing, higher wages, and lower turnover of employees. Those factors are important in ensuring that patients receive better quality care."

I hope that the Board of Directors of Valley Hi, its current administrator and the McHenry County Board keep a close eye not only on the bottom line but also the quality indicators for the sake of the health and care of the residents of Valley Hi....I am sure they will.

1 comment:

Gus said...

A step between non-profit status and for-profit status is when a non-profit organization is run by a for-profit corporation. That professional management operation might be highly motivated to make its "bottom line", and then cost-cutting begins. Expenses are cut, meals are trimmed down, lower-cost help is hired, higher-paid more-experienced help is "encouraged" to depart, etc.
So the dangers are not avoided by remaining as a non-profit.
A County-operated care facility must remain that - a "care" facility. We cannot tolerate service that heads downhill. To meet increasing expenses, we all must ante up. The problem is, no one wants to pay more in taxes.
There is, unfortunately, then the choice. You just warehouse the old folks and park them in wheelchairs and corners, or you cough up more money for staff and services.
The choice is obvious. The action that follows may not support it.