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Published: Thursday, 1/6/2005

Wood County: $1 million renovation boosts nursing home

Work on the entryway of Wood Haven Health Care on East Gypsy Lane Road is in progress. Work on the entryway of Wood Haven Health Care on East Gypsy Lane Road is in progress.

BOWLING GREEN - Wood Haven Health Care is getting a face-lift for the new year.

Construction is under way at the county-owned nursing home on East Gypsy Lane Road on a $1 million renovation and expansion that includes a larger therapy area, revamped nurse's station, a new lobby, parking lot, and a covered, drive-up entrance.

Wood Haven Administrator David Cecil said the project is scheduled to be done in March. Since work began in September, visitors have been using the facility's rear entrance, but there has been little other disruption for residents of the 100-bed facility.

"The residents have enjoyed watching the progress and giving their suggestions. They like to ask, for example, why some of the guys are working and others are just standing there," Mr. Cecil said, with a laugh. "They've really enjoyed the activity out front."

Mr. Cecil said the expanded therapy area will have its own entrance that will allow Wood Haven to offer outpatient rehabilitation services.

"We are quadrupling the amount of therapy space," he said.

The project is being paid for with a bequest from the late Harold and Ivalou Bordner, a Wood County couple who left nearly $2 million in a foundation to help the elderly of the county.

About $300,000 from the Bordner Foundation was used last year to install mechanical lifts and electric beds at Wood Haven in an effort to reduce employee injuries and enhance patient dignity.

County Administrator Andrew Kalmar said commissioners are pleased with the renovation work and what it means for seniors in Wood County.

"The commissioners' goal as well as the Bordners' goal was to provide a better facility for older people in Wood County, and this will help accomplish that goal as well as keep Wood Haven a viable facility into the future," Mr. Kalmar said.

Just a few years ago, commissioners considered getting out of the nursing home business because they were having to subsidize its operation with county tax dollars. Instead, a number of managerial and operational changes were made, and in 2004 Wood Haven was again able to finish the year in the black, Mr. Kalmar said.

Wood Haven still hopes to renovate a portion of the nursing home for larger suites with additional amenities that could accommodate married couples, residents involved in rehabilitation, and end-stage-of-life patients, Mr. Cecil said. There was not enough money available at this time for that phase of renovation, though.

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