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Remaining Staff Gathered One Last Time
By Echo Menges,
NEMOnews Media Group
The Board of Directors for the Scotland County Nursing Home District gathered for their final emergency meeting, after a long streak of weekly meetings, ahead of the official closure of the Scotland County Care Center nursing home and residential care facility.
The meeting was held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, just one day prior to the check-out of the last SCCC resident scheduled for Thursday afternoon, January 13.
The board gathered in the SCCC dining room after passing two small scrap metal piles and an overflowing dumpster in the parking lot, and walking the empty quiet hallways of the facility. The arrangement of the dining room had changed. The evidence of closure was everywhere as the hasty departure of residents was ending and the processes of cleaning, clearing and storing were in full swing.
Board members in attendance were Bill Kidoo, Tom Deberry, Cindy Justice, Lana McRobert, and Tara Shultz. They were joined by Administrator Tim Schrage, Office Manager Theresa Flemming, Maintenance Supervisor Micheal Monroe, Attorney Scott Summers, Scotland County Hospital CEO Dr. Randy Tobler, and this reporter. Absent were any members of the general public. Every person at the meeting had a specific job to do, and the business at hand was the encroaching closure. (See SCNHD BOD minutes for January 12 was published in last week’s newspaper.)
The meeting lasted approximately two-and-a-half hours and was packed with items to be discussed and decided: finalizing the kitchen lease agreement with the hospital, contracting office and building maintenance duties, obtaining a post office box, ending services with a myriad of providers, looking at the financials and the possibility of severance packages for the remaining staff – all 50 of them – who stayed on to the end.
After looking through and discussing the financial report, the board was disappointed to determine it was too early to decide any type of severance package/payment to the remaining staff. They will have to wait until the February board meeting – when the financial situation would be more evident.
It was decided to payout all of the paid time off (PTO) accrued by those who qualified immediately. Monetary rewards as severance packages for the staff who worked until the very end are on hold – for now.
“I think that would be my preference, to keep some money in people’s pockets,” said Lana McRoberts about spacing the final PTO payment out to the next pay period, and if there is opportunity, to provide a severance payment to the remaining staff the pay period after that. “I really appreciate that they saw us through. I really do. I can’t put into words how hard that was for them, and it’s a way of saying thank you,” McRoberts told the board.
“Last month you all approved a budget and we are using that for a meal and some drawings for staff and those who are here can relay to the staff how much you appreciate them, because we had very few out of 60 employees, maybe ten or twelve percent, that didn’t stick it out the entire time. That’s really good – really good,” SCCC Administrator Tim Schrage told the board about an upcoming gathering planned for the remaining staff on Friday, January 14. “The staff has been very busy hauling stuff out. We have just light duty stuff at this point moving forward. We’ve got everything done. I don’t see any problem letting the staff go (home) after the meeting.”
Bobby Ray’s Barbecue was contracted to cater the recognition meal. The remaining employees gathered as a staff one last time at the Scotland County Care Center on Friday, January 14, 2022.
The SCCC is officially closed. With no residents at the facility, the operating license will be returned to the State of Missouri.
(Correction from last week’s SCNHD BOD January 12 meeting photo caption: The caption in the photo said the meeting was held January 22, which is incorrect. The meeting was held January 12, 2022.)