More Lovin' On CR



Well, amid all the sad talk of budget cuts and squinched offerings for students, the  good money-news keeps a-comin'.

First it was a vow from the community to round up the money to keep the college's baseball program going. Now it's a windfall for the college's gerontology care program.

According to the college, its Health Occupations Programs will be injected with $250,000 from the law firm Janssen Malloy LLP, of Eureka -- the firm that helped whip Skilled Healthcare in a class-action lawsuit and has won court-approval to give some of the settlement money to CR to raise more nurses. (But just because the settlement was reached, the nursing home troubles continued, as the Journal reported last year in a two-part series.)

Says a news release from CR:

Michael Crowley and Tim Needham of Janssen Malloy were two of the four
lead trial counsel in representing 42,000 residents, including those in
Humboldt County, in a class action lawsuit against 22 Skilled Healthcare
nursing homes in California, five located in Humboldt County. The
original jury decision in the six-month trial resulted in a $677 million
verdict against Skilled Healthcare. It was later settled post-trial for
$62.8 million.

As part of the settlement, Skilled Healthcare has to meet legaly mandated minimum staffing levels. And that's why the law firm wants to direct money to CR's geriatric nursing program, said Crowley:

"There are few more important areas to direct this money
than a college that trains our future nurses."

CR's Dean of Health and Emergency Response Occupations, Dr. Pat Girczyc, said CR educates about 75 percent of Humboldt County's registered nurses and the majority of its licensed vocational nurses. She said the money will be used for improvements to the gerontology curriculum and teaching modules, which "will be distributed throughout the California Community College system. That means that the positive impact of the Skilled Healthcare recovery will spread far beyond the borders of Humboldt County."

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