Island Health is extending the temporary appointment of an administrator, Susan Abermann, to oversee the day-to-day operations of Nanaimo Seniors Village until at least July 31.

Abermann had been appointed to oversee the facility following concerns about the quality of care and condition at the Vancouver Island retirement facility.

The Island Health board of directors extended the temporary appointment after listening to a strong recommendation from its medical health officer, Paul Hasselback.

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It’s a decision that B.C.’s minister of health Adrian Dix is all for.

“I strongly support the decision by the Island Health board of directors to extend the appointment of the administrator,” said Dix. “The health and safety of residents in long-term care facilities is our foremost priority. We will continue to put the care and safety of seniors first before any other consideration.”

Detailed reports from site administrator Susan Abermann and Island Health’s Community Care Facilities Licensing program recommending the extension were the basis of Dr. Hasselback’s decision.

Hasselback found that there were significant improvements in staffing levels, care planning, and wound care, all of which point to progress towards meeting legislated standards of care at the senior care facility.

“The administrator, her team and the operator should be commended for the progress identified to date at Nanaimo Seniors Village,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “The additional period of oversight will support the creation and implementation of a transition plan and ensure the improvements made to date are sustainable over the long-term.”

Hasselback said more oversight time was needed to make sure the recent successes can be maintained and allow time to create an appropriate plan to transition the administration of the site back to the operator.

Abermann will continue on as the site’s administrator and will report to the Island Health Board of Directors. The health region says she will continue to provide comprehensive leadership of the daily operation and management of the facility.

Abermann was initially appointed as administrator at Nanaimo Seniors Village last November for a period of at least six months, which was due to end later this month.

The extension will once again be reviewed later on, prior to July 31.

Nanaimo Seniors Village is a privately owned 150-bed long-term care facility operated by Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management operating as West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which is part of the Retirement Concepts group of companies. Island Health publicly funds 134 of the beds.

 

Rebecca Lawrence