Welcoming the first resident – Columbiana skilled nursing facility opens

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Columbiana Health & Rehabilitation welcomed its first resident Friday Dec. 10.

The long-awaited 63-bed skilled nursing facility received its state license Thursday, Dec. 9 and welcomed its first resident, Alice G. Nall.

Nall, in her 90s, said of her new surroundings, &uot;I like it a lot. Of course, I’m the only one resident at this time.&uot;

She said she grew up in Conecuh County in Evergreen, Ala.

Nall said philosophically, &uot;I’m very glad to be as old as I am.&uot;

According to information provided by Kay Sertell, director of admissions, the mission of Columbiana Health & Rehabilitation is &uot;to be recognized in all the communities we serve as the leading provider of quality nursing and rehabilitation by creating a positive, caring environment for the residents, their families and employees.&uot;

Sertell explained that the Columbiana facility, which is located on Highway 25, is not an assisted living home but a facility for older residents who need skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

She explained that the staff includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. She also reported that the nursing staff is trained in the delivery of care for elderly residents.

However, administrator Jennifer Agee said the facility is open to anyone in needed of skilled care.

Sertell said the 40,000-square-foot facility has two private rooms with private baths, seven private rooms with adjoining baths and the rest are semi-private rooms with adjoining baths.

She said some of the equipment and facilities

available to residents include a whirlpool, which opens to receive a resident in a wheelchair, a physical therapy area, an activities area and a dining room with kitchen.

She said the facility offers physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Agee is a fourth generation worker in the long-term care field.

Her great-grandmother, Ida Estes, opened a nursing home in Pleasant Grove, which was later taken over by her grandfather, James Estes.

Her father, Norman Estes, established NHS Management in 1981. Today the company operates in four states including Alabama, Florida, Arkansas and Missouri.

While Agee said the Columbiana Health & Rehabilitation is a skilled nursing facility, she said it is also open to those who need short-term care.

Agee said several members of the community, including the late Johnny Lowe, started a letter-writing effort to the state for services such as Columbiana Health & Rehabilitation and, &uot;We knew South Shelby County was in need of more nursing care.&uot;

She said another of those who helped push for the facility was Bonnie Atchison, former director of the South Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

&uot;The community has been great to work with and everyone has opened their arms,&uot; she said