Debate Still Ongoing After Kermit Nursing Home Shuts Down

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

KERMIT - Patients and staff at the Kermit nursing home will have to find a new place to live and work. Owners said the Healthcare Center wasn't making a profit, so they shut it down in July after a deal to sell it to another company fell through. As NewsWest 9 discovered, a bigger debate is still going on between former employees and management.

"I mean I was just brushed off and when problems arose. I was told build and bridge and get over it. It's crazy," "Jessica," a former employee, said.

Jessica said it was earlier this year when she started noticing some serious management problems at the Kermit Healthcare Center. The Owners in Grapevine told NewsWest 9 Thursday the facility wasn't making a profit, so they shopped for possible buyers.
 
"Then in June, we were [told] because they were saying the buyer's going to take over, any day now, any day now, any day now," Jessica explained. "And by then because they had already decided not to admit new residents, by then we were already low capacity, so they started cutting hours really bad."

Jessica said that's when the problems really started. By July, it was pretty obvious the facility would be closing. However, managers said a nursing home closing in and of itself is nothing new for West Texas.

"It just seems like that's the nature of the business in these small towns, it's really difficult to operate efficiently, when you have 30 residents or less," Mike Jefferies, with Senior Living Properties in Grapevine, Texas, said.

From there, the nursing home's representatives said each employee would receive some kind of benefit or bonus. Jessica claims she worked as a manager, but wasn't paid for the hundreds of dollars in bonuses she said she was supposed to get.

"Then we all filed for unemployment, and I got three days, two days ago, that they weren't going to approve it because they said we quit for personal reasons," Jessica said.

Owners in Grapevine told NewsWest 9, that's not true. They said everyone was paid their bonuses accordingly.

"There's nothing in the law that said we had to do that, but I understand, I mean we did it quite frankly to make sure that people stayed there to take care of the residents that were still in the building," Jefferies said. "So all of that was taken care of."

But for Jessica, she said she and other employees are still owed more.