Mt. Hope Nursing Center is set apart by “heart”, which is conveyed in numerous ways. It can be seen in the beautiful garden and on the quaint front porch that looks out over a field of wheat. Most of all, the heart of Mt. Hope Nursing Center is found in the dedicated service of the facility’s veteran staff members who love what they do and have been with the residents for years.
Moving a loved one to an independent living apartment or nursing home can be an incredibly difficult decision, but at Mt. Hope, we strive to make that transition as smooth as possible by providing a beautiful and comfortable environment that offers high-quality care. Mt. Hope is not just where our residents live; it’s their home.
Many of the employees, leaders, and board members grew up in this community and have had parents, friends, and teachers spend their later years at this facility.
“I have worked at a couple of the giant facilities in Wichita and I have seen the turnover, the paperwork and waiting times for simple requests to work their way up the ladder and back down again and it was frustrating. At Mt. Hope, we are here to serve our residents and many things are just easier in a small town compared to the giant facilities in Wichita.” – Janet Winter, Director of Nursing
Mt. Hope Nursing Center is a small non-profit facility with a family-feel and when you visit or even call and talk to them, it shows. We’re focused on offering the our residents the best care available, not money. Our staff members know each resident by name and care for them like they are family, with genuine compassion and interest in their overall well-being. Every effort is made to ensure each resident is comfortable and happy in their new home.
In 1973, a group of Mount Hope residents had a vision that would allow the elderly in and around Mt. Hope to remain in the community in which they had grown up. Their mission was to create something special; a place where residents who enjoyed the sounds, the stillness, the quiet and beauty of being ‘in the country,’ and a place where residents could truly feel at home.
The group, comprised of Myrtle Brandenberger, Olive Kissick, Ned Ward, Jay B. McCaskill, Jr., Warner Harris and Alan Grier would become the founding board members of Mount Hope Nursing Center on December 16, 1973 when they made that vision a reality.
An official dedication ceremony was held on August 5, 1973.
Olive Kissick presenting the flag to Ned Ward for the nursing home.
The vision has since evolved into a legacy of over 40 years, continuing to endure and grow today.
How it all began
Patricia Kissick was one of the founding board members of Mt. Hope Nursing Center and served as the Administrator from 1973 until 2015.
Prior to leading the Mt. Hope Nursing Center, Ms. Kissick worked as a nurse and eventually an administrator in Colwich, KS. She graduated from the Wesley School of Nursing in 1961. When it became a requirement for all nursing homes to be licensed, she took the first nursing home test in the state and received the highest grade in her class.
When speaking with Ms. Kissick about all her years of service leading Mt. Hope Nursing Center, she was quick to credit the staff.
“We were fortunate to have staff that really cared. It wasn’t just a job to them. I have worked at and seen other facilities and how they are run, and it makes such a difference when you have good people who have a heart for what they do,” she said.
Back then, nursing homes were like boarding houses in a lot of ways, taking in residents with mental issues, drinking problems, or those who had nowhere to go. During that time, residents would help cook meals, make their beds, or tend to other necessary tasks.
Mt. Hope Nursing Center quickly developed an outstanding reputation for its hometown feel and personal care. Within just a few years of opening, there was sufficient demand to justify adding 20 independent living apartments next to the nursing home.
Legislation was passed by Congress striving to improve nursing home care. However, following an in-depth investigation, a report released by Consumer Reports found inadequate care in nursing homes was still very common, particularly in the large for-profit corporations that ran nursing home chains across the country.
Over time, Mt. Hope Nursing Center reached more and more members of the community. In 1990, the facility added 12 more apartments to compensate for growing demand.
Gina Terry joined the team as a CNA at Mt. Hope Nursing Center in 2002, after spending 19 years as an EMT in Mt. Hope and the surrounding community.
Who knew that Gina would become the facility’s second administrator 13 years later? Gina’s passion for the people she had been helping was evident from the start and the board recognized her potential early.
In 2005, there was a massive culture change in nursing homes across the country. During this period, many homes were no longer sterile and cold facilities made residents feel like they were in a hospital setting. Mt. Hope, on the other hand, had spent close to a million dollars transforming its facility into more of a home environment, featuring carpet, wallpaper, and trim.
This trend led to resident councils, more social events, crafts, and games to further contribute to the home-like environment.
2011 marked the first year that baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1947, started to turn 65.
All of a sudden, skilled nursing, independent living, memory care, home health care centers, and nursing homes were all the rage for investors wanting to cash in on this trend, and we saw an explosion of new facilities going up in record numbers.
“We all want somebody with a good heart, somebody with a real passion for what they do helping care for our parents and loved ones as the get older. The challenge is when you look at some of the monster facilities that exist today, hundreds of beds, ran by profit-driven corporations, sometimes not even in the same state, with hundreds or thousands of employees, it just becomes incredibly difficult to deliver that kind of care.” – Gina Terry, Administrator
Ms. Kissick retired in 2015, though she still lives in Mt Hope.
During her 43 years at Mt. Hope Nursing Center, comforted hundreds of families as they went through what is, for some, the most difficult and painful experience of their lives. Her thoughtful care made transitions easier for both families and residents. She spent decades with wonderful staff members and residents who she grew to love like family.
With Ms. Kissick’s retirement came a need for a new Administrator, and Mt. Hope’s Gina Terry was a perfect fit.
After spending 13 years working at Mt. Hope, Gina had served in practically every position, including CNA for 1.5 years, restorative aide for three years, activities director for 1.5 years, social services director for 8 years, and beginning her role as Administrator of the Mt. Hope Nursing Facility on July 1, 2015.
Mt. Hope Nursing Center has grown from its humble beginnings to where it is today, offering:
- Community center
- Physical therapy
Feel free to take a virtual tour of the facility by clicking here.
We are located just 15 miles northwest of Wichita on K-96, halfway between Wichita and Hutchinson.
We welcome you to stop by, say hello, and see for yourself what life is like in Mt. Hope.