Commission moves forward with nursing home administrator hiring process

Position would shift from one leader to two

With current contracted Madison County Nursing Home Administrator Steve McNeece’s last day slated for March 17, the Madison County Board of Commissioners initiated the hiring process for his successor at their weekly meeting on Jan. 5.

Commissioners authorized Madison County Human Resources to begin advertising the position, which will be split into two administrators rather than one. “It’s pretty appropriate to start advertising,” said Commissioner Jim Hart. “It takes time to not only do that but whittle down the possible scenarios and applicants.”

The open jobs will be advertised internally and externally for a minimum of two weeks.

Currently, the administrator is responsible for both the Madison Valley Manor as well as the Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center.

“We’ve been through the one administrator thing, and I just don’t think you can run them both with one administrator efficiently,” said Commissioner Dan Allhands.

Salary was also discussed. Madison County Human Resources Chief Administrative Officer Bonnie O’Neil provided her research on the topic to the commissioners, highlighting recent administrator salaries at other, similar facilities including Montana Mental Healthcare Center and Montana Veterans Home, Gallatin County Rest Home and others. Salaries ranged from $117,000 to $89,700.

In 2018-19 budget year Madison County paid an administrator $80,340 to manage one of the facilities. During another time an administrator made $100,000 to manage both facilities.

There are currently 16 residents and 47 employees at MVMC and 23 residents and 46 employees at TRMCC. Current administrator McNeece and O’Neil spoke on Jan. 5 regarding the wages. McNeece said $90,000 would be appropriate for each administrator, or if only one was hired, he suggested a salary between $135,000 and $150,000 depending upon experience.

Hiring a nursing home administrator is not an easy undertaking, said O’Neil, so it is still possible only one candidate is found in time. In the case that only one administrator is hired, McNeece strongly recommended to O’Neil that an assistant be hired for the position. “We would still be at $200,000,” said Commissioner Hart, referring to the total pay for an administrator and an assistant.

The commissioners opted to advertise the pay for the position as “to be determined.”

In other nursing home facility business, the commissioners approved the extension of hazard pay for nursing home employees. While the workers were receiving an extra $2.50 per hour, funds are diminishing. The new hazard pay of $1.50 extra per hour will be extended to the end of January.

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