by Travis Mateer
It’s funny how some of these posts get started. A curious disclosure to cover a potential conflict of interest by a newspaper leads me to the realization the dominant nursing home company in Montana came from a beer brand.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the part of the seemingly innocuous article from the “business buzz” section of the Missoulian that caught my attention (emphasis mine):
Village Health and Rehabilitation is among the top 13% of skilled nursing facility in the country, according to the Best Nursing Homes report published in U.S. News & World Report.
“We are thrilled to be named a 2021-22 Best Nursing Home,” said Dee Strauss, executive director at Village Health and Rehabilitation. “This recognition would not be possible without our talented team members and their commitment to providing exceptional service to residents, patients and their families.”
Dee Strauss is married to Missoulian publisher Jim Strauss.
When I first read this my reaction can be summed up this way: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? This reaction can ALSO apply to my previous evening’s research about the “journey” Sidney Goodman took to owning nursing homes before himself croaking.
Selling stock in BEER to then make your money peddling REAL ESTATE before getting into warehousing cognitively declining grandparents booted from their homes because they can’t afford the ever-increasing property taxes and cost of in-home support services is hitting like ALL my triggers.
I don’t know what the Strauss dynamics were like seven years ago, when soon to be president Craig Edinger was quoted in this article, but it doesn’t change the impression of queasiness I get reading the language describing “VSR”:
“Bev has been an excellent leader for our Senior Living and Health Care Division,” said Craig Edinger, vice president of senior living and health care at the Goodman Group, the company that owns VSR and nine other senior living communities in Montana. “Twenty-five years ago, the Village Senior Residence was among the first locations in our company to help draw upon the best service attributes from the hospitality and best practices of the health care fields to create and manage living environments that emphasize quality of life and enable residents and staff to achieve an optimum level of well-being.”
Optimum level of well-being my ass. They optimize profit, and we all fucking know it. And they do it using a panoply of public resources, from Medicare/Medicaid to local first-responder time.
How about another peek at that journey?
The amazing journey from SAGE selling off its Hamms beer holdings to buying real estate in fucking Florida finally coalesced into THE GOODMAN GROUP ERA in 2007. What a trip, man.
I’m trying to use some humor to keep my disgust from taking over. You see, my time working at a homeless shelter in Missoula AND a 3 year stint working at an area agency on aging means I have A LOT of familiarity with the wide range of difficult “clients” the Goodman Group has excluded from its dominant hold on the Missoula aging/disability warehouse meat market.
And what do many “difficult” clients have as a common factor contributing to their “difficulty”? If you guessed ALCOHOL congratulations. Take a shot of something stiff. It only hastens the cognitive decline greasing the slippery slope to A Goodman Group “home”.
Thanks for reading.