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Eastview name returns with new owners
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Antigo’s Eastview is celebrating over 50 years of history, with a new owner and a return to its roots.

The facility, which in recent year’s has been known as Kindred Transitional Care & Rehabilitation Center, was purchased June 1 by MGM Healthcare, with a return to its former Eastview Medical & Rehabilitation Center name.

According to Ginger Gruett, admissions coordinator, over its 50-year history Eastview’s name has changed but its mission has remained steadfast.

“The history of Eastview has been accumulating for over 50 years and with the recent purchase we will be making new history for many more years in the Antigo community,” Gruett said. “ Eastview is proud to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce, sponsor the Alzheimer's Walk, sponsor a caregiver's support group, be a resource for the technical college for nursing and certified nursing assistant training, work closely with our area clinics and hospitals to provide quality care, as well as the many community activities we support. The residents, staff and volunteers continue to lead us into the bright and the prosperous future.”

Eastview dates to 1961 with the construction of Antigo Superior Nursing Home, the first of its kind in Langlade County. Opened in 1962, it accommodated 17 residents. This area of the building is now called the reflections unit.

Don McMurtrie constructed and was operator of the home until Dec. 31, 1968. At that time, it was purchased by National Health Enterprises, Inc. Since then, other owners include Hill Haven, Vencor and Kindred Healthcare.

Under Hill Haven, the facility was called Eastview Manor and Eastview Medical and Rehab Center when rehabilitation services were added.

Four years after the nursing home was opened in 1962, the first addition of 21 beds was completed, bringing the total bed capacity to 38.

“At that time, the nursing home field was in its infancy,” Gruett said. “New ideas on the concept of nursing homes and nursing home care were being generated and put into practice with the sole purpose of providing the best care possible for residents.”

The office of Social Security formulated and put into action the Medicare program. The Medicaid program followed shortly after— sponsored and directed by the Department of Health and Social Services.

“These programs enabled millions of people, who previously could not afford hospital or nursing home care, to receive it,” she said. “This, naturally, increased the need for both hospital and nursing home beds.”

In 1964, Priscilla Poss became the licensed administrator of the home. She held that position until 1974. Since then other licensed administrators such as Mary Ellen Draeger, Susan Whitty and current Executive Director Wanda Hose have successfully managed the day to day operations of the facility.

The activity program was started during Poss' tenure, under the direction of Ann Perry and is still running under Shari Zoern.

“The residents soon realized that there was much more to do in a nursing home than just sit, sleep and eat,” Gruett said.

In 1968, 18 more beds were added, 56 residents was the home's capacity. An activity room was also constructed due to the increase interest in the activity programs such as bingo, music, craft making, cooking and the resident counsel program.

Because more people could afford the services of nursing home care, the 56 beds were quickly filled and in order to satisfy the need, a 20-bed addition was constructed in 1969.

National Health Enterprises, Inc., which acquired possession of the home Dec. 31, 1968, made further studies of bed needs in Langlade County. As a result, plans were developed for two additional wings to the facility. The Blue Wing provided an additional 46 beds which is the rehab and therapy units as well as a Green Wing with 45 beds that is now called the Main Wing. These wings were completed in 1973. The home had a capacity of 169 beds at that time.

Today, capacity is 166 with the reduction of some rooms for administration and bed capacity changing from three to two beds in some rooms—although; private rooms seem to be the trend for the future.

Today, residents needing long-term, respite, rehabilitation and dementia care reside in four wings. The Blue Wing is focused on rehabilitation/short-term care, the Main Wing and Central Wing are long-term care residences and the Reflections Wing is the dementia friendly unit.

With 106 present employees, the secured facility has 24-hour nursing, CNAs, a dietitian, social workers, case managers, recreational assistants, and speech, occupational and physical therapies.

Dr. J. Turnbull is medical director of the facility and Shelly Lauters is the director of nursing.

“There have been many changes in Medicare and Medicaid programs since the opening of the facility in 1962,” Gruett said. “There have been many cuts to Medicare/Medicaid funding which has affected nursing centers nationwide, and Eastview is no exception. Today's patients are very complex with acute or chronic medical conditions and require higher levels of nursing and rehabilitation care unlike in years past.”

Gruett said that today care is much more medically complex, relies on more rehab interventions such as physical and occupational therapy and speech pathology to meet or exceed their previous level of function, and require assistance with a greater number of activities of daily living.

“Over the past several years, the facility has invested significantly in additional clinical resources,” Gruett said. “Since 2004, Eastview increased nursing hours per patient per day by over 27 percent. Despite treating more complex patients over the past several years, Eastview has been successful in providing quicker recovery and discharge to home with fewer re-hospitalizations. As Medicare and Medicaid are the primary payers for post-acute care, Eastview is playing a critical role in returning patients home sooner at a significant savings to taxpayers.”


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Eastview staff members pose in front of the facility’s new sign. It has returned to its Eastview Manor name under its new owner, MGM Healthcare.
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
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JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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