The latest development in the management of Hope Creek Care Center brings new changes in oversight.
The Rock Island County Board chairman announced Tuesday he’s dissolving the advisory board for the county-owned East Moline facility.
He told Local 4 News it’s after members departed the board.
Getting rid of the advisory board was actually the wish of its former director, Jessy Hullon who resigned last month.
Hope Creek’s executive director has also put in her notice and will leave later this month.
While the nearly ten-year-old facility serves about 250 residents, it’s become buried under a mountain of debt to the tune of approximately $4.6 million.
It has some in the community saying it’s frustrating a solution can’t be found to better run what they call the best facility in the area.
Organizing to help Hope Creek Donald Lind said, “You walk in there it’s clean. They’re courteous. They’re friendly.”
Hope Creek has a place close to Donald Lind’s heart.
A former hospice volunteer he said this latest announcement isn’t a surprise.
Nor is it encouraging.
Lind “With the administrator gone, the board is gone now. It’s like we’re starting all over again.”
Lind has been working on his own for seven years to find help for Hope Creek.
He’s formed his own committee to find a solution that prevents what he calls the worst-case scenario.
Lind said, “Make sure our seniors stay at Hope Creek and not get uprooted to go to Galesburg, Peoria.”
He told Local 4 News the group has been meeting as often as a couple of times each week. They also have members from different backgrounds including someone who has knowledge about unions.
Those efforts have also extended to the state government, writing letters to the governor to get his support.
The one thing Lind said they need is more community support and input to make a difference.
“People in the community to step forward and help our seniors out. We can’t let this keep going and kicking the can down the road like it’s been going for almost nine years now. That’s why I’m stepping forward,” said Lind.
As Lind gets organized, for Rock Island County Board member Drue Mielke, he thinks the dissolution is the best move.
Saying the advisory board served more like window dressing.
Rock Island County Board member Drue Mielke said, “Give it an appearance that it’s doing something, but really, if they don’t have the information, then how can they do anything.”
The County Board Chairman Richard Brunk said a recently approved audit into Hope Creek will provide some next steps.
Brunk “Go a lot further than the financials of the home and the operation of the home, they’re going to look at the market trends in this region.”
The goal is to lay all options on the table.
“The data shows some solid ways that we may be able to turn the home around,” Brunk said.
Mielke said, “I don’t know if it would be more viable as a private institution, but I’m willing to look at that.”
For Lind, he’s hoping a solution will end the frustration about Hope Creek’s future for residents, families, and staff.
Lind said, “It should have been caught years ago. It should have never gone this far.”
The role of the Hope Creek advisory board will be taken over by the Governance, Health and Administration Committee.
Their next meeting is Monday.
To reach Donald Lind’s committee, you can email at email@example.com or call at 309-738-4177.