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Letter From The Department of Health and Human Services Board/ Bay Bluffs Board of Directors

Friends and Neighbors, 

For the past 55 years, Bay Bluffs has been serving the residents of Emmet County, under the leadership and guidance of the Department of Health and Human Services Board. As the current county residents responsible for the operation of this county "gem", we'd like to reaffirm the value of this county asset and the critical decisions that face County Commissioners in the coming weeks.

As a county medical care facility, Bay Bluffs follows a state mandate to be the "safety net" for the county's poorest and sickest seniors. Without regard for one's financial position, the staff at Bay Bluffs provide exceptional care each day - as evidenced by the continued high quality ratings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

In addition, Bay Bluffs is the largest employer in the City of Harbor Springs, with more than 190 individuals providing the exceptional care the facility residents deserve. 

Over the last four years, the DHHS Board has made decisions to spend our cash balance to update life safety systems, fully fund our employee retirement program, and ensure we have competitive wages and benefits as we compete for the limited staffing resources in our area. These investments have been made through critical evaluation and due diligence, all while working to position Bay Bluffs for long-term sustainability. Demographic data for our county indicates a very busy future for long-term skilled nursing and memory care, as County Commissioner MacInnis pointed out in his recent commentary published in the Harbor Light.

As the County Board of Commissioners grapple with their duty to be responsible stewards of taxpayer funds, Bay Bluffs has quietly and consistently operated successfully without asking for support or being "bailed out". Only when the DHHS Board identified that we could no longer manager the breadth of the capital needs of the building did we approach the Board of Commissioners, asking for their support to ensure that capital is available when needed. 

Today, the Commissioners are faced with a potentially history altering decision: privatize Bay Bluffs, risking limiting access to the healthcare safety net and reduction in quality of care/services provided to residents OR allow Bay Bluffs to continue to implement our long-term strategies for sustainability, as a county medical care facility, as your safety net!

We ask that our Emmet County neighbors share your opinions with your Commissioner and request that the citizens of Emmet County be allowed to have a say in the future of healthcare in our community.

Thank you for your support!


The Department of Health and Human Services Board/ Bay Bluffs Board of Directors

Mary Elizabeth Horrom, Gayle Mroczkowski, and Carol Hansen 

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