Debut of Westfield Quality Care a milestone for Aurora

There were a lot of reasons to celebrate this week as residents of the former Hamilton Manor made a symbolic move across town to Westfield Quality Care.
First and foremost, the community sent a strong message by opening the doors to a brand new 64-bed skilled nursing facility. Simply put, Hamilton County cares about its elderly population!
There have been headlines in recent weeks telling a much different tale about nursing homes in Nebraska, some of which are facing dire financial struggles. That is not the case now in Aurora, though the picture looked vastly different just two years ago.
Despite years of quality care and devoted management efforts at the county-owned facility, the Hamilton Manor was showing its age and losing money at taxpayers’ expense. Thanks to the vision and hard work of a group of local leaders who hired experts in the field and gathered investors to help turn the corner, the future is very bright now for Westfield Quality Care, its residents and staff. County commissioners deserve much of the credit as well for making the tough decision to first close and eventually tear down a facility that had outlived its usefulness.
The $9 million facility is already an asset to our community, but it is also the anchor piece of another exciting development in the new Streeter Subdivision. Aurora, and every other rural community in Nebraska, is in dire need of housing, and the stage is set now on two fronts to add much-needed homes. Ten houses went up in a hurry last summer in a partnership project with BonnaVilla Homes (of which six are already sold), and plans are already falling into place for construction to begin on some of the 22 new lots in the Streeter 1st Subdivision. That’s a very big deal in the scheme of things, priming the pump for continued community growth.
Best wishes go out to all the residents of Westfield Quality Care, for whom the move this week was no doubt a major milestone. We join with you in celebrating a new, exciting chapter in our community.
Kurt Johnson

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