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Home transitions to Village





Changes are on the horizon for Rush County Nursing Home, as the skilled nursing facility transitions to a new name and plans the addition of an assisted-living community.

The new name, Locust Grove Village, is hoped to reflect a changing model of person-centered adult care and move away from negative stereotypes associated with the term "county home," said Administrator Charlotte Rathke.

In addition, plans for implementing a broader range of services, including a 14-unit assisted-living facility, are in the works.

The name change also is hoped to assist to some degree with funding issues. The existing name, Rush County Nursing Home, indicates the facility is county-owned, Rathke said. However, it is a nonprofit organization and not tax-based.

"We want to begin moving forward toward more endowed funding, more planned giving as we look for a broader range of supports to keep functioning as an organization," Rathke said.

Contracting with Fort Hays State University's Docking Institute of Public Affairs, RCNH moved forward with selecting a new name through efforts of a focus group.

The 16-member community member group brainstormed new names for the facility, reaching a consensus with the name Locust Grove Village. A new logo and marketing materials soon will be developed.

"It's exciting," Rathke said of the changes. "It means the organization is moving forward to new care models in our community."

The assisted-living facility will be the first in Rush County and will serve people from a variety of counties. The assisted-living option, Rathke said, will offer more cost options for care levels than currently are available.

There is no set date for construction of the assisted living addition, which will attach to the existing care facility to its east and west. Fundraising efforts now are in the works.

Rush County Nursing Home, incorporated in 1978, is a 50-bed skilled nursing facility. Sixteen independent-living apartments, Locust Grove Senior Retirement Apartments, were added to the campus in 1997.