Sunnycrest fines total $6,000/State finds 9 deficiencies during a mid-September inspection, including issues with Aramark’s food-service management.

Source: Alicia Yager, Telegraph Herald, October 8, 2015

Dubuque County-owned Sunnycrest Manor has been fined $6,000 for three violations discovered during its most-recent state inspection. The violations were among nine deficiencies noted in the mid-September inspection. … Another violation involved Aramark’s management of dietary services at Sunnycrest, prompting a $500 fine. … That resident also said staff is afraid to “speak up for fear of getting fired.” Other residents stated they had dietary restrictions, and when they didn’t like items on the menu, there weren’t alternatives available that they liked. Residents also said the kitchen sometimes ran out of prepared meals. Dubuque County hired Aramark in June to manage dietary services at Sunnycrest. The report said inspectors spoke with the dietary director and a dietitian from the contract agency, who said residents could get alternative food, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, from the nurse’s station on each floor if they do not like menu food. Fresh salad also is available at every meal, they said.


Dubuque County OKs Aramark services at Sunnycrest /The company will manage dietary and housekeeping. No employees will lose their jobs.
Source: Alicia Yager, TH Online, June 10, 2015

Dietary and housekeeping services at Sunnycrest Manor will be managed by Aramark starting at the end of this month. The Dubuque County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a one-year contract with Aramark that will take effect on June 29 and continue until June 28, 2016. The company will provide on-site management of dietary and housekeeping services at the county-owned long-term care facility…. Klein said the contract authorizes Aramark to serve in a managerial role. Current employees in dietary and laundry services will keep their jobs. …. The contract states the price-per-meal will change based on resident population. Prices can vary from $3.326 per meal if 85 to 89 residents are served, down to $3.197 per meal for 120 to 124 residents. Those prices are set through April 30, 2016…..

Some Sunnycrest outsourcing OK’d
Source: Alicia Yager, TH Online, February 19, 2015

Operational board recommends Aramark handle bulk laundry services for an annual savings of $194,000. Dietary and housekeeping would remain if union staff will agree on concessions to wages and benefits.

Sunnycrest union takes aim at bidders
Source: Alicia Yager, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, September 18, 2014
(subscription required)

Aramark, 1 of the companies seeking to provide food and housekeeping services at the care facility, vigorously denies a food-contamination allegation. … The union representing Sunnycrest Manor employees is taking aim at three companies bidding to provide services at the Dubuque County-owned care facility, leveling allegations, including food contamination. The company in the crosshairs of that allegation, Aramark, denies it and charges that AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is “a special-interest group to advance its agenda by attacking our reputation.” Meanwhile, the Sunnycrest Manor Operational Board of Directors is tasked with scrutinizing the bids, a process that is ongoing. The board eventually will provide a recommendation to the county Board of Supervisors, which will make a final decision. … AFSCME Iowa Council 61 compiled a memo of complaints about Aramark, BSG Maintenance and New Horizon Foods, companies that bid to provide dietary and housekeeping/linen services at Sunnycrest. …

Terry Bartmann public comment
Kristin Cripe public comment
Dave Baker public comment
BSG Bid 2
BSG Bid 1
New Horizon company info
AFSCME Memo on Sunnycrest Bids

Comments: Don’t outsource services at Sunnycrest
Source: Alicia Yager, TH Online, June 12, 2014

The Sunnycrest Manor Operational Board of Directors’ new public comment policy was put to quick use Wednesday, as a handful of people weighed in on the board’s decision to seek bids to outsource support services at Sunnycrest Manor. …. Two AFSCME union representatives also spoke, expressing their opposition to outsourcing those jobs to private companies. Joe Henry, president of the local AFSCME chapter, echoed Balk’s concern about high turnover among contract employees and said the county would lose oversight on quality. Robin White, who bargains union contracts for Sunnycrest, said that private companies would be able to go on strike.

Sunnycrest report cites employee benefit levels
Source: Alicia Yager, Proquest LLC, May 1, 2014

While Sunnycrest Manor employees have comparable wages to area facilities, a consultant report states the employee benefits are much higher. Diane Peters, team leader for consultant Health Dimensions Group, said the dominant factor in compensation expense for the county- owned care facility is that the ratio of benefits to salaries is substantially higher than private long-term care facilities. She said, historically, government facilities have offered better benefits, such as more time off and lower insurance contributions, to offset a lower salary. “Over time, (government facilities) couldn’t recruit people, so they started raising the wages to be competitive, and the benefits kept going up,” she said…… Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61 representing Sunnycrest employees, said he does not agree outsourcing these departments is a benefit. He said with outsourcing the labor, the county also loses oversight on the quality of work done. He also expressed concerns over housekeeping staff that might have questionable backgrounds. “(Contractors) are more worried about making a buck,” Homan said.

Consultant to supply interim administrator at Sunnycrest
Source: Alicia Yager,, January 29, 2014

With the resignation of Sunnycrest Manor’s administrator today, a newly hired consulting group will supply an interim administrator for the nursing facility. Cathy Hedley, who served as the head of Sunnycrest for the past six years, submitted her resignation today and will work her last day Friday, according to Dubuque County Supervisor Daryl Klein. …Klein said officials with Health Dimensions Group, the consultant group hired to evaluate the county-run facility, will meet with county Personnel Director Mary Ann Specht on Monday to start the process of putting an interim administrator from HDG in place at Sunnycrest…. Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, said bringing in an administrator from HDG is inappropriate, and it seems the county is moving toward handing over control of Sunnycrest to the private group.

Heated comments fly at Dubuque Co. supervisors meeting
Source: Becca Habegger, KWWL, January 27, 2014

Tense and emotional comments followed a decision from Dubuque County supervisors at the board’s Monday evening meeting. Supervisors voted unanimously to contract Minneapolis-based Health Dimensions Group to help county-owned Sunnycrest Manor care facility with its finances and operations. Sunnycrest currently operates at a cost to taxpayers of some $3 million per year. Following the supervisors’ decision to move forward with the consultant, Sunnycrest workers and supporters expressed their concerns about the facility’s future. AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is the union that represents Sunnycrest’s workers. Its president Danny Homan drove to Dubuque from Urbandale to attend the meeting. He expressed outrage that supervisors didn’t take public comments at the meeting prior to approving the decision to move forward….

….Dubuque County supervisors did not put the consulting project out for a bid. They said doing so would further delay finding a solution to the problem of Sunnycrest’s budget shortfall, which costs Dubuque County taxpayers an average of more than $8,000 per day. Homan argued that since Health Dimensions Group is a private consulting company, it has profit in mind and will likely recommend to supervisors that it take over Sunnycrest’s operations….