| Sep 27, 2007


Feature Article - September 27, 2007 Feature Article - September 27, 2007

Pine Meadow Seeking Municipal Supportby Jeff Green

Volunteer board member Ernest Lapchinski and Administrator Kim Harvey from the Pine Meadow Nursing Home came to Frontenac County Council last week, cap in hand.

The nursing home is looking for a commitment of $20,000 to $25,000 per year from Frontenac County to enable the home to keep up payments on a long-term loan they are contemplating seeking from Infrastructure Ontario. Pine Meadow is a 60-bed nursing home located in Northbrook. Its catchment area includes Addington Highlands Township, where it is located, and the adjacent townships of North and Central Frontenac as well.According to the presentation, 60%-70% of the residents in the home come from North Frontenac and Addington Highlands, and 17% come from Central Frontenac.

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The Pine Meadow Nursing home is a not-for-profit facility that is owned by Land O’ Lakes Community Services, and is under the direction of a volunteer management committee. Management consultation is provided by a company called Extendicare. The home has an annual budget in the range of $3,000,000, and is supported through client fees, fundraising, and the Ministry of Health.

“For a few years, we have been trying to convince the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that Pine Meadows should receive funding for an expansion so that it can provide private and semi-private rooms instead of four-bed, ward-style rooms, but we have been unsuccessful even though the ministry says that all nursing homes must be upgraded, although they have not said when,” said Ernest Lapchinski to Frontenac County Council.As a fall back, the management committee is contemplating spending $400,000, of which $250,000 would be a loan from infrastructure Ontario, $100,000 is in a reserve fund, and $50,000 is coming from the community. This would allow the home to eliminate many of the four-bed wards, and improve storage and other deficiencies in the home.

The County of Frontenac owns its own home, the Fairmount Home for The Aged, a 128-bed facility that is located in Glenburnie. A few years ago, Fairmount Home underwent a $17 million expansion project, upgrading its status as a long-term care facility to an “A”, and going from 96 to 128 beds.Fairmount has the same funding sources as Pine Meadow, but it has an additional source, municipal funding. In 2007, Fairmount received over $1 million from Frontenac County ratepayers, $682,000 in operating funds, and $335,000 for debt retirement. The home receives funding from the City of Kingston as well.

For Ernest Lapchinski and the Pine Meadow board, municipal support is not only needed to enable them to keep up loan payments, “It is an issue of fairness. WE are the home of choice for people living North of 7 in Frontenac County, and we receive no support from their municipality”, he said.

In responding to the Pine Meadow presentation, Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek said that the county should develop a policy to deal with these kinds of requests, which have come up before during his tenure on county council. He commented on the reference to county support for Fairmount Home by saying “We have a formal requirement, a legislated requirement, to the Fairmount Home.” Vanden Hoek said that he doesn’t think there are residents from Frontenac Islands in Fairmount Home either, but the county has to maintain a nursing home as a commitment to the province.

County Warden and North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire said “For as along as I’ve been here it’s been a topic for people in the top half of the county that don’t have Fairmount on their radar screen. It’s always a frustration.”

County Council received the presentation from Pine Meadow, but no decision on the request was made at this time. It may surface again during 2008 budget deliberations.

Pine Meadow is making a presentation to Lennox and Addington County this week, and will be asking for the same amount of support.

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