SANTEE, Calif (KGTV) - Edgemore Hospital celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its current facility Wednesday, a milestone in a dramatic turnaround from a reputation that almost led to its closure.
"You had a hospital that as basically built in the 1920's," County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in an interview with 10News. "You had a hospital that at times had no air conditioning on days where it was 100 degrees...required a lot of maintenance, held together with bubble gum and baling wire, basically."
"It was like a rundown hotel with open windows and animals running around," said patient Glenn Higgins, who spent two years in the old facility. "The nurses were scared to go to certain areas because they said there were ghosts from a lot of people dying."
Costs of renovation or replacement were so steep, the County Board of Supervisors almost decided to close Edgemoor and not replace it. However, after being on the verge of making that decision, the Board instead relented and approved the $129 million to build the current facility in Santee.
Higgins says that while Edgemoor always had a great staff, the new building has made a big difference in the quality of care. "I thank the lord that I'm here, because I know what it's like out there."
In a recent article, Newsweek named Edgemoor the best nursing home of its kind in California, and among the best in the nation.
"If you take good care of the people in the community who are the most vulnerable, that's what's really important in life," Jacob said. "And that's what Edgemoor is all about."