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Senior services

should be priority

As the Administrator of West Wind Village I am concerned by Gov. Mark Dayton's newly re-visited proposal to cut funding for senior services. To hear Gov. Dayton and some legislators talk, you would think that Minnesota nursing homes are full of people who don't really need to be there. West Wind Village has been a care provider for nearly 50 years in the Morris and surrounding communities. I assure you, a nursing home is a definite need for this community. West Wind Village has served as home to many thankful families and the many residents that have entrusted their care to us, shouldn't go unnoticed.

We estimate the total impact of the governor's proposal will have a real and immediate impact on the services we provide. We've already started to take necessary steps to better prepare ourselves.

Minnesota nursing homes are in their third year of a rate freeze and we have little ability to increase rates under current law. Our expenses continue to rise each and every year and we are powerless to adjust prices to recoup our losses. It's a steady losing battle with every nursing home in the state of Minnesota.

The demographic data doesn't lie. According to the state's own numbers, the senior population will grow by 40 percent in the next decade. Gov. Dayton and the legislature need to prioritize seniors in their budget negotiations by fully restoring proposed cuts to nursing homes and assisted living providers.

If the safety net for our seniors no longer has room, where shall they go? It's time to make senior services a priority.

Michael Syltie

Administrator

West Wind Village

Morris

Get it right

on Biliary Atresia

I was doing research for Biliary Atresia and noticed that the Sun Tribune has an incorrect statement in a story of a little girl ("Erin Tanner receives liver transplant," March 12 Sun Tribune). Biliary Atresia is not hereditary. The cause is, so far, unknown. If you wish to verify this information, please visit the Biliary Atresia Reasearch Consortium website, baaware,org, or any Children's Hospital website in this country. I know that this may seem small to you, but to those of us in this community it is a huge mistake. We are trying to bring understanding of this disease for families everywhere and try to help educate when and where we can.

Jeannie McCoy

Festus, Mo.

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