McKendree Village Report

2008 Tennessee Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
2008 marks McKendree Village’s celebration of 45 years of providing retirement living options to senior adults in a secure Christian environment. The Village (MV) offers a continuum of care from independent living in apartments and cottages, to assisted living, and nursing home care. MV has a covenant relationship with the United Methodist Church and an Affiliation Agreement with Vanderbilt University. MV achieved accreditation from two national organizations with stringent evaluation criteria in its recent history. MV historically achieved good scores from government surveys. Countless people have shared stories of gratitude for the care that they or their loved ones received at McKendree. Against this backdrop, the events of the last quarter of 2007 were especially challenging. A State of Tennessee survey cited MV’s nursing home with several violations deemed Immediate Jeopardy. Efforts of MV to address these allegations were not fully accepted by the State. A short timeframe exists under the regulatory process to respond. The end result was that admissions to the nursing home were suspended, and the contract with the federal government for Medicare and Medicaid nursing home payment coverage was terminated. This meant that close to 200 elderly, frail patients had to be relocated during the month of December. Most of the patients did not want to move, and loved MV and the care they received there. This was a time of pain and grieving for many. The private pay nursing home patients were not affected by the government action, and about 83 remained. The MV Board of Directors tried to halt the forced eviction in the federal district court in Nashville but the Court ruled it did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. With such a dramatic reduction in the number of patients, and the commensurate loss of revenue, MV was forced to reduce its staff significantly. This reduction in force crossed every department. All told, thousands of individuals were affected by this dramatic sequence of events: patients and their families; staff

members and their families; contract vendors, and many elected officials and other people who love and support McKendree in its mission. Members on the Foundation Board, the Senior Care Board, and the McKendree Village, Inc. Board devoted countless uncompensated hours, and staff members worked long and hard to make the transitions as smooth as possible. The long planned transition of CEO Mary Anna Womeldorf at the end of 2007 was recognized at a meaningful service and reception, where her devotion and passion for older adults were commemorated. Board member Luke Gregory stepped up as interim CEO to guide the efforts to regain nursing home admission capability, achieve recertification, and to guide the appeal process decisions. (MV was also hit with a fine exceeding $500,000 which ranks among the harshest fines levied by the federal government in 2007 in this area.) MV contracted with National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) and other consultants in its nursing home crisis management phase, and has now entered into a longer term contract for NHC to manage the entire campus. Since NHC management began, admissions capability to the nursing home has been reinstated. This means that residents and others who may make private payments for care can be admitted to the nursing home. This was a priority so that the residents would have the full continuum of care options. Also, under NHC’s management, the Assisted Living Unit passed its annual state survey with no deficiencies cited. As we move forward, the strong support of our residents encourages us. We are working together to restore the well earned reputation that McKendree has enjoyed. We need support from each of you. Our commitment through Golden Cross to provide financial assistance to our residents who can no longer afford to pay remains paramount. Our trust in God remains staunch. Our faith that God holds our future endures. We invite you to walk closely with us as we advance toward our Golden Anniversary!

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