Eaglestone restructures in effort to cut costs and reduce debt

Cost cutting measures are currently underway at the Eaglestone Lodge in Kamsack.

The non-profit corporation that provides accommodation, meals and care to elderly residents in Kamsack has been forced to reduce its operating expenses. According to Colleen Pennell, newly elected president of the Eaglestone Lodge board of directors, the facility has been losing more than $15,000 per month. Cost cutting measures include replacing the charge nurse position with a full-time personal care aide manager, replacing the director of operations position with an office manager, and reducing the hours of the maintenance position.

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It was recently announced that Karen Bodnaryk will be stepping in as Eaglestone’s new office manager. Bodnaryk has over 20 years of experience in bookkeeping, payroll and other office skills. A previous employee at Nykolaishen Farm Equipment in Kamsack, Bodnaryk has also been very active in the community with the Kamsack Air Cadets. The board is grateful that Bodnaryk has come out of retirement to help Eaglestone and reports that she will be working flexible hours.

Stepping into the new role of special care aide manager is Kathy Wishnevetski, who has worked at Eaglestone for the past four years. Wishnevetski will work closely with the Assiniboine Valley Medical Center, along with four local doctors who are available to visit Eaglestone Lodge on a regular basis.

Mike Syvret works full-time as the maintenance person at Victoria School in Kamsack, but because the school requires him to work a split shift, he is available to provide maintenance services at Eaglestone at least two hours per day Monday to Friday. Syvret is a qualified contractor with boiler papers and other necessary certificates who will check boilers and provide ongoing maintenance duties. With the previous maintenance position being full-time (40 hours per week, with benefits) the restructuring of this position will result in a substantial reduction in expenses.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has promised Eaglestone that home care nurses will come to the facility as directed by doctors to provide specialized care such as injections. The home care nurses will also train special care aides to do such things as dispense medication and perform specialized care procedures. There are currently two staff members at Eaglestone who are trained to dispense medication, but at least one more person requires home care nurse training for this task.

The board of directors has reported that there are currently 20 full-care residents at Eaglestone, despite the capacity for 30 beds. Since virtually all of the revenue required in building maintenance, paying staff, and paying for groceries comes from residency fees, the board of Eaglestone Lodge is currently appealing to wealthy people to make donations to tide them over until more people can move in to the facility. As lodge residents become older and their health deteriorates, they are re-assessed by SHA. Once residents have reached level three, they are moved to “long term care” also known as the Kamsack Nursing Home.

The Eaglestone board has announced that it will soon be launching a marketing effort to reach full occupancy at the lodge and would like to have a waiting list. The organization is planning an open house and barbecue in July.