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Friday, January 14th, 2011

Auglaize Acres receives top honors, now looking to replace retiring director

By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize Acres Nursing Home was one of only 16 nursing homes in the state to receive a 100 percent on a survey by the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA).
The two main questions on the survey offered to residents and family members asked, "Overall, do you like this facility?" and "Would you recommend this facility to a friend or family member?" The annual survey was conducted by Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University of Oxford on behalf of ODA.
"We are so thrilled. We're on cloud nine today," admissions and marketing director Kathy Kohler told Auglaize County Commissioners during a meeting Thursday.
The county owns Auglaize Acres, which years ago operated as the county home.
Commissioner John Bergman on Thursday also announced the retirement of the home's interim director, Charles George. When former director Nick Schleck left, commissioners asked George to come out of retirement for three months and act as an impartial judge in deciding what the nursing home most needed to improve. A few years ago Auglaize Acres really struggled financially to stay alive, Bergman said.
"We wanted someone unbiased and honest," Bergman said. "Not someone who would do or say anything for his job."
Bergman called George a great asset to Auglaize Acres.
"It's been an honor working here," George said. "Now I'm ready to jump back into retirement."
Commissioners held interviews for directors Thursday afternoon. They hope to make a decision on George's replacement within two weeks.
The county-owned and operated facility currently has 79 residents with a total of 98 beds. It is more than 150 years old, though the original structure was a two-story log cabin. Originally, the superintendent lived in half and the residents lived in the other half. In 1858, a separate five-room home was built for the superintendent on the 200-acre property.
Back then, all counties were required to have residence for anyone who couldn't afford his or herown home, county administrator Joe Lenhart said. They were called "poor houses," he said.
A new brick building was built in 1867, but a fire in 1905 completely destroyed the building and some surrounding sheds. The replacement building was built in 1909 and is now called the East Building.
Today, the East Building and its 1976 addition operate as a Medicaid-certified nursing home, offering temporary rehabilitation stay, outpatient therapy, a dementia ward, skilled nursing and hospice care.
Over the years, laws changed and counties no longer are required to have a county home, Lenhart said. Some counties shut down their facilities. Others, like Auglaize, converted their facilities into nursing homes.
Although Auglaize Acres is owned by the county, it receives no government funding, said Kim Sudhoff, Auglaize Acres business manager. All of its funding comes from the residents through private pay, Medicare or Medicaid.
Additional online stories on this date
Thirty-two percent of the roughly 270 farms in the Grand Lake Watershed in Mercer and Auglaize counties now have nutrient management plans, Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) board members learned Thursday. [More]
ST. MARYS -The St. Marys girls basketball team worked out the kinks from a dismal first half to rally past rival Celina in Western Buckeye League play on Thursday night. [More]
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