The dedicated employees of Southwest Memorial Hospital Home Care were dealt a heartwrenching blow on the morning of Jan. 23 when they received a visit from Kent Helwig. The CEO was not exactly a common sight in the home health department, and he brought devastating news.
The home health department was being eliminated, effective March 30, along with the jobs of all the employees of home health.
While the prospect of losing the financial ability to provide for oneself and possibly other family members loomed in the minds of the doomed employees, the fates of their patients were also a concern.
Southwest Memorial Home Care has been the only non-profit home-care agency in the region since, well, since it began. Its past and current staff has selflessly gone above and beyond to provide for the means of their less fortunate clients, often reaching into their own pockets and depleting their own bank accounts in order to provide a better quality of life for someone less fortunate.
The press release that Mr. Helwig released to the Journal resulted in a brief, falsely assurant article in the paper. Yes, the patients will be served by another organization, but only in the capacity that a for profit agency is willing to provide. They deserve better. So do the employees of home health.
Does Southwest Memorial really provide the high quality acute care and outpatient services that Mr. Helwig is quoted as saying? He has thrown his dedicated home health employees to the wolves in order to focus on a hospital that most people avoid if they have a choice.
Helwig and the board have eliminated the jobs of many people in this community, without severance pay. How is that for 20+ years of dedication?
The community needs to know that they are losing a true gem, an agency that focused on the needs of an individual (without regard to their ability to pay) has been forsaken and the angels that made it happen havent even been given the dignity and respect that they gave so freely, for so many years.