By Liz Wood 

End-of-life care facility opens in Saratoga


Liz Wood

This room at Deseret Health and Rehab has been set aside for end-of-life-care with the cooperation of the staff at Deseret Health and Rehab, Dr. Dean Bartholomew and the Corbett Medical Foundation. Decorated by Tonya Bartholomew, this room gives the family and patient privacy. More patients are choosing to stay in the Platte Valley rather than go to a Hospice unit in Casper or Cheyenne.

The Corbett Medical Foundation, Dr. Dean Bartholomew and Deseret Health and Rehab have worked in concert to create an end-of-life-care facility for patients in the Platte Valley who want to stay close to home in their last days.

It's not the first time the subject has come up, said Mike Glode who serves on the Corbett Medical Foundation Board.

"Dean has been doing a really good job with end-of-life-care," Glode said. He knows from experience. Glode's dad John suffered a stroke and received great care from Bartholomew and his staff.

The Kirsten Campbell Memorial Fund was set up by the Corbett Medical Foundation and that fund is what paid for the furniture at Deseret Health and Rehab.

"This should be good for everybody. It's a lot easier than setting up a hospital room in the home," Glode said.

Some people in the Platte Valley who have required end-of-life care want to stay close to home, said Glode, but the family does not have the experience in this type of care.

The facility, which has a specialized bed, a hide-a-bed and two recliners has a very home-like feel.

Bartholomew is pleased to see the end-of-life-care facility finally come to fruition. He has been working with the administrators at Deseret for the past few years to make the facility a reality.

"The more experience we have in end-of-life-care, the more we see the need," Bartholomew said.

The facility allows the patient to stay in the Valley. "It is a great option to have," he said.

In the past, a handful of patients have chosen to stay in the nursing home, but it is in a shared room. Now with the nursing staff at Deseret setting aside a room for the end-of-life-care, the patient and family have privacy.

"The current team (at Deseret) is very positive about doing this," Bartholomew said.

Anita Mills, the new administrator at Deseret Health and Rehab said the facility would not have been possible without the Corbett Medical Foundation. The staff at Deseret painted the room, but the Foundation paid for everything else and Tonya Bartholomew decorated the room.

The only Hospice options in Wyoming are in Casper or Cheyenne, Bartholomew said. "They are great options, if that is what you want to do, but if you want to stay here where your family is, where your ranch is, where you grew up, you have to do it in your house and for some families it is uncomfortable or hard to do and that is understandable."

The room was completed two weeks ago and Monday night those involved held an open house to let the public see the room.

Liz Wood

Those involved with spearheading the end-of-life-care facility hosted an open house Monday for a look at the new facility. Pictured left to right are Rebecca Manley, assistant director of nursing; Anita Mills, administrator at Deseret; Rhonda Cowart, director of nursing; Omie Blocker, business office; Dulcie Schalk, Corbett Medical Foundation board member; Mike Glode, Corbett Medical Foundation president; Dr. Dean Bartholomew and Tonya Bartholomew.


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