Soldiers Grove Health Services Receives Funding for New Van

Christmas came a little early for Soldiers Grove Health Services, thanks to funding from the Crawford County Wisconsin Finance Committee.

The Committee approved $70,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for Soldiers Grove Health to purchase a new van for transporting residents. The current 2008 van had high mileage and needed major repairs, including a new exhaust system and air conditioner, and was not safe. Plus, graphics from the previous owner were still on the van.

Executive Director Echo Bristol worked at a county-owned skilled nursing center prior to joining Soldiers Grove in May. She was familiar with APRA funding and considering that Crawford County only has two skilled nursing centers, felt that there was a strong chance the county would consider allocating funds to Soldiers Grove.

During Bristol’s presentation to the Committee, she outlined the benefits of a new wheelchair accessible van. The center would continue investing in the economic development, health, and quality of life of the community. Plus, Soldiers Grove Health would contribute back to the county infrastructure by providing jobs, offer their own transportation without relying on other entities, and improve residents’ participation in community events, a service that the center has not been able to previously offer. Residents would have a renewed sense of freedom, improved physical and mental health, decreased social isolation, and above all, safety.

Bristol said that the approved funding would impact residents, staff, and the entire community in many ways.

“In addition to the obvious impact of being able to accept admissions more readily and transport residents to their doctor appointments, having this van will enable our resident to enjoy more activity outings,” she said. “This will result in a huge impact for our residents, allowing us to offer activities, programs, and outings outside of our center, improving our residents’ psychological well-being and improving their overall quality of life outcomes.  It is truly life changing for residents to feel that they are still a part of the community and to do things that many of us take for granted, such as going out to see Christmas lights.”