Millage renewal on upcoming ballots

Millage renewal on upcoming ballots

HANCOCK — One of the most important items on the upcoming ballot in Houghton County is a millage renewal for the Medical Care Facility.

Should residents continue to support the Houghton County Medical Care Facility? It’s a question that some have asked recently as the millage renewal for the facility is set to appear on the August 2nd ballot. The facility serves as the safety net for all the vulnerable citizens in the area that need nursing home care regardless of their ability to pay. With 197 beds they provide care for roughly 375 local residents on an annual basis.

Houghton County Medical Care Facility Administrator Tammi Lehto said, “One of the services is traditional long-term care that is typically provided in a skilled nursing facility. We also have a 28-bed memory care neighborhood and we also provide short-term, or post-acute care services. So, when somebody is discharged from the hospital and they’re requiring additional skilled therapy or skilled nursing services prior to being discharged, we provide that service as well.”

If the millage renewal fails it could affect funding for maintenance and the facility’s more than 300 employees and plans for a building project may be put on hold. But one thing is for sure the lives of those living at the Houghton County Medical Care Facility will be changed.

Lehto said, “I’ve been administrator for the last three years, but prior to that, I’ve been in the nursing department for about 22 years and so I have a direct knowledge in regards to the importance of maintaining high quality staff and appropriate numbers to care for our residents to meet their needs. So, there would probably be some challenge in that area that would have to be reviewed and we hope that there would be no negative affects on quality of care.”