by KATHERINE WUTZ
Blaine Manor, the county's skilled nursing facility, has won a prestigious health care award for the eighth year in a row.
The manor announced on Friday that it has won the 2012 L. Jean Schoonover "Excellence in Caring Award," which is presented by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Blaine Manor was one of nine facilities to receive the award this year. The manor has won this award every year since 2005.
The award is based on annual licensure and certification surveys, which measure the quality of care in any given facility as well as compliance with state and federal regulations.
Gail Goglia, facility administrator, said in a press release that the award reflects the manor's proven track record.
"Blaine Manor is the only experienced and proven option for skilled nursing in Blaine County," she said. "It has a tremendous advantage in that it understands the community and has the knowledge and track record in a business that is particularly local."
County Commissioner Tom Bowman said that the award reflected not only on the staff, but on the manor's board of trustees as well.
"The L. Jean Schoonover Excellence in Caring [award] is a difficult award to attain," he said. "It demonstrates the skill and dedication of our staff as well as the Blaine Manor board."
The award comes in the midst of a tumultuous discussion regarding future options for senior care in Blaine County.
Though the county has subsidized the manor since it separated from St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center in 2001, the county stated in 2010 that the $600,000 annual shortfall could not be funded through the county budget long-term.
In 2010, voters passed a two-year, $1.9 million levy meant to fund the manor for three years, giving the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation time to raise nearly $13 million for its proposed facility west of Hailey that would replace Blaine Manor.
However, Croy Canyon has yet to meet its fund-raising goals. County commissioners are now seeking a new solution, which could include selling the manor's administrative license to a private facility in Bellevue expected to be built by next year.
The facility was approved by the Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission on July 23.
Kate Wutz: email@example.com
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