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Wentworth now Elk Meadows

by Andrew Kirk OF THE RECORD STAFF

Summit County’s only assisted living facility changed its name at the end of June to coincide with its new direction.

Elk Meadows, a 42-unit, Type 2, assisted living center, was formerly The Wentworth at Summit County.

In October 2006, Gary Burraston and two business partners purchased The Wentworth and have been making minor changes ever since.

On June 27, with all of the planned changes complete, the community celebrated the new name as the beginning of a new era.

"One reason for the name change was to clear up confusion about other Wentworth facilities, but we also expect to even surpass the standard set by them," said Chyanne Young, director of nursing.

One of the changes celebrated by Burraston is the recent approval to participate in Medicaid’s New Choice Waiver program that will allow anyone who meets the criteria to come to Elk Meadows.

Previously, The Wentworth had always been a private pay facility. Burraston hopes to make the center’s services more convenient and available to the community.

"We’re concerned about whether we’re doing enough to let the community know we’re here, what we have to offer and what can be done," he said.

Young is also working to make Elk Meadows a community resource for information about extended care. She helps organize monthly meetings of the Caregivers Coalition open to all caregivers in Summit County. The meetings at the center promote networking and the spread of useful information.

Another of Burraston’s goals is to get his residents more involved in the community. About 30 percent are from the surrounding area and in his words, "built the community." Oakley has responded well and reciprocated.

The Oakley mayor approved an extension of the large Fourth of July parade route so that it went past the center’s lawn.

Young helped get residents onto a float in that parade that won second place. She devoted the prize money to the dementia unit’s activities budget.

Several Oakley neighbors have donated goods to the center such as two television sets, a powered wheel chair, plants and even home-made cookies.

Young herself is from Oakley and started at The Wentworth as a Certified Nursing Assistant several years ago. After completing her nursing degree, she waited for an opportunity to work there again.

"My ultimate goal was to come here, and now I train the CNA’s," she said with a smile.

Working at The Wentworth was also one of Burraston’s goals, but in a different sense. Having worked in the extended care industry for the past 17 years, he saw the building while visiting his parents in Smith and Morehouse.

Eleven years ago Burraston convinced his partners to invest in an extended living facility that he would run, and four years ago the plans started to solidify.

Partner Cory Robison owns a masonry company and was going to just build one himself.

"Gary said, ‘You get me one built, and I’ll provide the best service anyone’s ever given,’" Robison remembered with a smile as he re-laid stone work near the front of the building.

But then Burraston decided to cold call the owner of The Wentworth.

"We caught him on the right day," he said.

The owner didn’t want to sell, but a management company had recently replaced his administration and with the timing just right, he was willing to consider an offer.

The rural setting, with the front lobby windows looking out onto wide open fields with humming birds flying around and the Uinta mountains in the background, was ideal to Burraston.

A native of Morgan, he grew up in rural Utah and after working in several urban and suburban settings in his career, he was ready to return to his roots.

"I’m from rural America," he said. "I have friends and relatives out here-my best friend lives across the street."

The facility has been in the eye of many purchasers over the years who had contemplated turning it into a boy’s ranch, a church camping retreat and even apartments for the U.S. Bobsledding team.

Burraston calls himself successful being able to maintain 85 percent capacity, which is full enough to have a good community but still open enough to accommodate locals without a waiting list.

Contact:

Elk Meadows Assisted Living Community, formerly The Wentworth at Summit County.

4200 North 400 West

435-783-5575


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