Archive for Thursday, March 2, 2000

Eudora Nursing Center celebrates 25 years of caring

March 2, 2000

Twenty-five years ago, the Eudora Nursing Center set out on a journey to provide quality care to its residents and their family members.

Three staff members have been aboard for the entire journey.

Nurses Starr Shoemaker, Beverly Bryant, and Yvette Durr each received plaques in honor of her 25 years of dedication at Wednesday's silver anniversary open house.

Not surprising, the place has changed in 25 years.

"I think the main change for us is the building itself," said Shoemaker, a certified medication aide. "It's so much more convenient and better now. It's just so much prettier and we've got more gadgets."

Gadgets aside, Durr said a driving force of staying with the center so long stems from the amount of concern staff members have for the residents.

"What keeps us going is that we care. We truly care," Durr said. "I think it takes a special person. It's not like I'm bragging. It takes a great deal of caring."

Much of the caring comes from dealing with people on an interpersonal basis from day to day. Bryant said those she cares for are like family members.

"You more or less consider these people your grandma and grandpas," Bryant said.

Nursing center administrator Rheva Victor also said the center's ability to provide nursing home care and still be independent from a corporation is not all that common.

"Particularly in today's world, from all my knowledge, we're one of the only freestanding nursing home that's community based," Victor said. "Most of the other nursing homes are corporately owned.

"It's pretty outstanding that a facility 25 years later still meets the code."

The nursing center opened in March 1975, equipped with 75 beds. Two years later, that number went to 100. Today, the nursing center has room for 88 elderly people, but recent renovations added have enhanced the living and social areas. The center, which employs 85 full- and part-time specialists, now features an aquarium, an atrium, and a big-screen television for residents to enjoy.

Mary Coppedge, director of community life, said one reason the center has been successful, is that the center's reputation attract residents from all over the country.

In a recent census survey, Victor said, she counted residents from 18 counties. Areas include Eudora, Lawrence, and the Kansas City metro area.

On Jan. 21, 1998, the nursing center received an award from the Kansas Partnering Group for retention of nursing facility staff.

"I think our reputation goes near and far," Coppedge said.

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