LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Get 'rest of story' on Park Manor

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In reference to article dated May 4 concerning Park Manor.

As a patient presently at Park Manor, I would like to comment with "the rest of the story."

The large, bold print article title was approaching "sensationalism journalism."

I am not defending the nursing home's mistake in this case, as it has admitted to and have taken corrective action. I am bringing to the forefront the many positive attributes of Park Manor.

It is interesting that the reporter of the negative article did not visit the facility at any time for an in-depth observation of Park Manor or speak with the family of the accidently injured patient. As was related by the Park Manor administrator, the patient's family members were supportive of the care he received as a resident and while receiving end-of-life care, and "have not been critical in any way." These family comments should be the real "verdict" in this unfortunate happening.

In support of Park Manor's many positive qualities, before retiring as a dental specialist and working in four large hospitals and as a consultant to three skilled nursing facilities in Kansas, I do have considerable experience observing this very trying and difficult patient care profession.

I also have been a patient at another rehabilitation facility in Walla Walla, while that experience was positive it was not in the same class as Park Manor. The amount of compassionate understanding of each patient's individual needs that the entire staff at Park Manor display is in the highest degree of excellence. I have not observed one employee who does not show a positive attitude. The physical and occupational therapist are at the highest degree of competence I have experienced with over 50 years of living with a back injury.

It is very unfortunate that the reporter did not observe first hand the highest quality of care here, talk with some of the patients and/or their families to observe the "rest of the story." In a much more positive article there are so many potential human interest stories at Park Manor as the many permanent residents live out their final years with dignity and compassionate care.

I feel the judgmental personal statements, cited in the article, from the regional state ombudsman program is not fair to the many longterm care facilities that have an extremely difficult job in taking care of the types of patients they work with.

In closing I feel it is fortunate that the many presently unfortunate patients here have Park Manor to care for them.

Robert Merten
Walla Walla

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