2018-09-19 / Editorial

Suncrest is point of pride for entire community

Dozens of administrators, staff, residents and friends of Lapeer County Medical Care Facility, better known as Suncrest, celebrated the completion of the final phase of expansion construction at the facility with an open house, dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting on Sunday.

Suncrest is a county-owned skilled nursing facility that has been serving area families whose loved ones require long-term care and extensive rehabilitation for more than 100 years. With a dedicated staff of 400 full- and part-time employees, Suncrest has set a high standard of care to which other public-owned care facilities can aspire.

“The secret of our success is the individuals we employ. They treat all our residents with dignity and respect. Our employees are kind, caring and compassionate,” Suncrest administrator Gary Easton told The County Press.

The new south wing completed Suncrest’s Neighborhood concept that features a home-like, spacious living environment with private rooms and bathrooms, smaller kitchens and dining areas, along with large living spaces for residents to enjoy. Suncrest now offers 106 private rooms and 48 semi-private rooms to serve their 202 residents.

The latest expansion project, started in 2011 and completed in three phases, also ushered in a cultural change at Suncrest to remove an institutional feel and make the facility feel more like home for residents who live there.

A previous construction project completed in 2001 included a 32-bed secure Dementia Unit with special programing for Alzheimer’s residents and a licensed child care integrated learning center for children aged six weeks to seven years old, available to Suncrest employees and the public. The earlier project also created a physicians wing that is leased to doctors who also administer care to some of Suncrest’s residents.

The Display Gardens on Suncrest, built and maintained by the volunteers from Lapeer Master Gardener Association, open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, is an absolute work of horticultural art and not to be missed. The Display Gardens provide an oasis of quiet beauty for residents and their families as well as the visiting public. Easton calls the Display Gardens an incredible, unique gift to our community and said, “The Master Gardeners have been a blessing to Suncrest.” The pavilion at the Gardens is available by appointment for use by non-profit groups, as are Suncrest’s two conference rooms inside the facility.

Also essential to the successful Suncrest recipe through the years is the Suncrest Auxiliary. An organization of volunteers dedicated to advancing and maintaining the quality of life for the residents of Suncrest, the auxiliary has raised funds to provide a variety of equipment and services to those residents. The group provides parties, entertainment and outings for residents. In addition donating a long list of equipment like whirlpools, chairlifts, oversize wheelchairs and blanket warmers, the Suncrest Auxiliary has also funded aesthetic enhancements at the facility including stained glass installations, two aviaries and a saltwater fish tank. One of the auxiliary’s major fundraisers, their annual fruit and nut sale, is underway now with orders being taken for the holidays. (Call Auxiliary president Jerrie Thompson at 810-664-3400 to place an order.)

A lot of folks around Lapeer County have a Suncrest story. Many of us have witnessed and experienced the professional care, kindness and support given by Suncrest’s staff and volunteers to a parent, grandparent or other loved one. Some of those stories can be bittersweet as that care for our loved one has occurred at the end of their journey on this earth. But that is also when that care is most appreciated.

Lapeer County voters deserve kudos for supporting Suncrest by approving operating millages through the years. Voters most recently approved a 10-year renewal of the operating millage in 2016.

Congratulations to Easton, the Lapeer County Health and Human Services Board that oversees Suncrest, which includes chairperson Mary-Sue Weber and board members David Taylor and Debbie Bastien, the staff and volunteers of Suncrest on the successful completion of their expansion project. Suncrest is truly a Lapeer County jewel and a point of pride for all of us who live here.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2018-09-19 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.