Washington Co., WI – To the taxpayers and government officials in Washington County, WI.
I realize what I’ve written may not sound like it, but my intentions are not to vilify the County Board.
It’s evident they have done many good things to improve and support the quality of life for citizens of Washington County. However, when discussing the future of Samaritan Health Campus, the Board has lost sight of the actual “human beings” that live here. They refer to us as numbers in a census report. We are also referred to as “beds” when it is in regard to State licensing for nursing home population. I doubt very much they could put our faces, and names together. It is pretty evident that they have “socially distanced” themselves from us. If you dehumanize a scenario, you won’t have to “feel” anything.
WOW!! Is that truly what it’s come to? Is that truly how County Government feels about their aging and disabled?
For some reason, circumstance, or just fate itself, the residents of Samaritan had to make the hard decision to leave their home and families behind. Realistically, there was no other choice. It was an unwanted reality that comes and smacks you in the face. If that’s not heartbreaking enough, now the place we’ve chosen to live the rest of our lives, has dark clouds of “closure” looming over it.
Should the nightmare of Samaritan’s “demise” become reality, those Board members who voted to close, or move us, need to own that decision. They need to come across the street from their County Government Offices and look into the faces of the people whose world they are turning upside down! We are the people that didn’t matter enough to fight for, the people who were not worthy of “finding or making” a way for them to remain in their “forever home.” They are allowing dollar signs and decimals be the deciding factor, not their hearts, showing compassion, and concern toward their fellow man.
There are 157 full and part time staff that make Samaritan work. From the time you enter the door of Samaritan, you will be greeted with a smile, and with people who are ready to offer assistance. The Samaritan staff are exceptional, from top to bottom. I know this sentiment is shared by the other residents, and their families, past, present, and hopefully in the future. This is the big reason why we want to stay here! There is a family atmosphere in this building. We are surrounded by people that care and are willing to help. We’re treated with kindness, dignity, and respect by all who work here. I know this sounds sappy, maybe even scripted, but these sentiments are genuine, they are not exaggerated or romanticized.
Many Veterans have lived at Samaritan throughout the decades. Currently, 13 Veterans live within the Samaritan Campus. At one time, these Veterans put their lives on the line. They devoted their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy today. Will the Board really vote “no” to keeping Samaritan in Washington County? Will they displace these Veterans who have selflessly served God and Country? I consider that to be disrespectful and unkind.
The County Board has been actively “negotiating” with Lasata, a nursing home in Ozaukee County.
Imagine that… negotiating with human lives in the balance, how do those two words even end up in the same sentence? If this is allowed to happen, we will be uprooted from the place we’ve chosen to spend the rest of our lives. Another smack in the face! Will we lose our doctors? Will any of the staff we know be allowed to come along? This will not just affect the residents. It will cause hardship for the families.
Spouses of the residents are aging also. Driving an additional 16 miles to see them will be difficult and no doubt, stressful. Daylight hours have shortened, making driving that distance, in the dark, a matter of safety for those families. The “human” connection between loved ones is crucial for the mind, body and soul of a person, and their happiness!
The black and white of this whole thing is, “We don’t make any money for the county!” We cost money.
We’re outliving our usefulness to society. It doesn’t matter that once we were part of the tax base for years and years. We should be moved out of the way, tucked in some corner, somewhere, anywhere, just out of the way.
I feel like I’m treading water in an ocean of people that can’t see us or hear us. You pray, you hope, you plead, in the hopes that you find someone, anyone to listen. You dream that you’ll find someone who actually cares.
We need your help! Please contact your district supervisor, and let your voice be heard: (262)335-4301.
Debra (Deb) Kison
Resident at the Samaritan Home
Please also note: