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Operations have been going well at the St. Mary’s Nursing Center and Rehabilitation Center since it has been operating independently from St. Mary’s County government, the county commissioners were told Tuesday.
The nursing center in Leonardtown recently changed its name slightly from St. Mary’s Nursing Center, and the facility has a “bright future,” said Daniel H. Raley, board of trustees member and county commissioner from 1998 to 2010.
The nursing center was established in 1965 under the purview of St. Mary’s County government. In 2001, the center was established as a freestanding entity and on June 30, 2010, it became completely independent when it took ownership of its building and grounds, Raley said.
The facility, overlooking Route 5, now has 180 patient beds, 160 full-time employees and 58 part-time employees, said Annette Hodges, administrator. Half of the employees have worked there for five years or longer. There are 30 to 40 registered nurses working there. “We do hire fresh [registered nurses] out of school,” she said, and the center partners with College of Southern Maryland.
The state standard for nursing hours per patient day is two hours, she said. At the St. Mary’s center it is 3.85 hours.
Under the Medicare performance rating, the facility earned four of five stars, she said, and a family satisfaction survey under the Maryland Health Care Commission is at 100 percent.
Several improvements have been made to the building, including a new roof and a new heating and air-conditioning system, Hodges said. The building used to be home to St. Mary’s Hospital before the hospital moved to its current location in 1984.
The nursing center is now moving to offer private rehabilitation suites for more privacy, where a patient would have a physical therapy room to oneself rather than sharing the room with someone else.
“When you fall and break your hip, we can put you in a room where people don’t have to put up with you,” Raley joked to Commissioner Todd Morgan (R).
The nursing and rehabilitation center operates with a $13 million annual budget, with a profit goal of 2 percent, though that has not been reached yet, said Kenneth Capps, treasurer of the board of trustees. “We’re looking to be stable. We’re not looking for a ton of money,” he said. Most of the revenue comes from Medicare.
Electricity bills are lower now since the lighting systems were converted into energy efficient ones. The electric bill in July 2011 was $23,000. In July 2012, it was $16,465, Hodges said.