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Cottage Door
Newsletter - Fall 2002


Stratton House was the best small nursing home in Vermont. What caused its closure?

1) An increase in regulation, oversight, and mandates, which led to increased costs.
2) Pay scales increased to help retain trained staff in an era of nursing shortage nationwide.
3) Health insurance benefits for employees, paid by the OHCC, escalated 87% over three years.
4) The state and federal government shifted the focus of eldercare to home-based care.
5) The economy suffered a severe setback, which created state and federal deficits, and caused potential funders to tighten their belts.
6) To have kept Stratton House open could have caused the financial failure of the entire OHCC.

Could the Board have appealed to you and to your neighbors for funds? Yes. We've done it before, and you've come through often and generously - in fact, you helped to save the hospital when we had the "To Be Or Not To Be" Campaign in 1990.That campaign put Grace Cottage firmly back on its feet, where it remains today. In the case of Stratton House, however, the indications were quite strong that the financial losses would only get worse. The Board felt that we could not ask you to fund uncompensated and seemingly endless, increasing losses.

Could the Board have voted otherwise? No. Could it have let the community know sooner? Yes, but this would not have been fair to patients, their families, and the loyal staff. Do we still count on community support and help? Yes. With strong support, our goal to build a model eldercare system will happen, and enable us to serve an even greater number of seniors with the personalized family-style care Grace Cottage is noted for.

Cottage Door is published by
The Otis Health Care Center
Administrator and CEO Al LaRochelle
(802) 365-7357

Cottage Door is produced by
Grace Cottage Foundation
(802) 365-9109

Executive Director Andrea Seaton
Director of Development Mary Gyori

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(802) 365-7357


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