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Needed: A 'county home' 

Editor:

Thank you NCJ for revealing Shlomo Rechnitz's chicanery (Dec. 22). We needed to understand how these poor facilities could be manipulated to bring him unconscionable wealth.

Thank you Partnership Healthcare for standing firm against his lies and his ploys.

I attended the Oct. 27 "protest" arranged by Rechnitz in front of Partnership's Eureka office. I wanted to discover what these corporate reps expected to happen, and I wanted to publicly defend Partnership's position.

A few care-home employees were there, holding signs provided by Brius/Rockport. When I asked one of them, "What do you want Partnership to do?" he looked me in the eye and replied, "I'm just trying to keep my job."

In the many hours I have spent in Pacific, Granada, Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness, and Fortuna Rehabilitation & Wellness (née: St Luke's), I have been impressed with the caring attention the aides have given my parents and friends. I have also been awed by their employer's expectations that so few could serve so many! It's long been obvious that patients have suffered from neglect while aides are doing all that is humanly possible.

Staff needs and deserves 1) more co-workers; 2) higher pay; 3) comprehensive training. Rechnitz claims that he cannot afford to provide needed care. Now that we comprehend his scam, the solution seems obvious.

Many of us recall, from varied locations in this country, a "county home." They were often drab and underfunded, but managers were responsible to the public, rather than to stockholders or an "owner," and did what they could with meager money.

Today, Humboldt County could manage a well-staffed, clean, and healthy facility of which we would be proud. If Rechnitz can divert obscene profits from SSI and Medicare payments, we know that the income is sufficient to maintain the kind of "county home" that we need for our loved ones and ourselves.

Chip Sharpe, Bayside

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