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UPDATE: 'It's just not fair': Wellspring of Milwaukee nursing home closes suddenly, employee threatens facility

UPDATE: ’It’s just not fair’: Wellspring of Milwaukee nursing home closes suddenly, employee threatens facility

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Updated: 9:57 a.m. March, 2, 2019 

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The union representing Wellspring of Milwaukee employees,  SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, released the following statement after the sudden closure of the nursing home:

We represent 55 employees that work as CNAs, dietary aides, and cooks. The employer was in the process of negotiating our contract that expired in 2017. They informed us of the letter they sent to the state reporting a catastrophic business event required them to close with a time line of April 12th, 2019 to evacuate the clients.

This week we became aware of allegations the facility's checks for food for the clients were bouncing and emergency evacuation was needed for the clients.

We advised and provided our members with wage and hour claim forms and consulted the deputy secretary of DHS.

This is a clear example of the "crisis in care" occurring in our state for the elderly and differently abled in nursing homes , home care and hospitals.

This facility cares for clients that are funded 90% by Medicaid dollars. Per the facility administrator that translates into a near $100/day loss per client.

The workers and clients are on the chopping block with the current Medicaid formula and federal dollars the state accepts.

This facility closing will just transfer this appalling situation to another nursing home and impact the clients and staff! Inadequate staffing, turnover, recruitment and retention issues are endemic due to the profit motive of this industry.

We support the State of Wisconsin accepting the federal Medicaid dollars and a wage pass through for wages.

Our citizens deserve a well-staffed nursing home and well paid and trained home health aides to keep them in their homes.

Familiar staff and environment goes a long way towards maintaining these frail clients in their optimum health.

Healthcare dollars are better spent with the least disruptive continuum of care!

Ann Louise Tetreault RN, vice president, seiuhcwi

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Police were called to Wellspring of Milwaukee, a nursing home on the northwest side, after employees allegedly made threats. 

This comes after staff and family members learned just two days ago it would be closing immediately.

It's a mix of emotions for Tracey Schiedemeyer who moved out her boyfriend after its abrupt closure.

"I'm upset, I'm mad. How can they do this to them? How can they do this to them?" she asked.

The nursing home serves up to 185 residents who all need professional care.

Schiedemeyer's boyfriend has a traumatic brain injury. "He needs therapies, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy every day and it's all taken away from him," she said.

Initially, the rehab and skilled nursing center was supposed to close on April 12. According to a letter from the facility's executive director, it's closing because of "catastrophic unforeseeable business circumstances."

But those plans were moved up much sooner. Families and employees found out it would close on Thursday instead, with less than 72 hours’ notice.

The closure impacted 160 employees.

"Just that fast now, we all need to be finding work immediately,” said Donte White, a nurse.

To make matters worse, employees found out they won’t be getting their last paychecks. “We didn’t get paid, we need some money, we got bills to pay, rent is due, we ain’t get no check,” said Marilyn Malone, a certified nurse assistant at Wellspring for 20 years.

With frustrations running high, police were called to the facility after an employee made threats on Facebook that they would damage the property if they weren't paid. The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating and said no one at Wellspring knew what employees made the threats.

The remaining residents were transferred to VMP nursing home in West Allis.

Others said they just weren't given enough time to look for another nursing home for their loved ones.

"We didn't get enough time to pack for our family member or nothing, so I just feel like that's not right."


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