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The ownership of the nursing home would be split between two men: Todd Mullen, who provided most of the capital, and Jerome Overholt, who provided the experience. Todd Mullen, 35, a successful real estate agent in San Francisco, had a wife and two young children, was learning to accept the fact that male pattern baldness ran in his family, and had the kindest smile you ever saw. He had a frank way about him that instantly made you want to be his friend. From all appearances, Todd was everything his partner wasn't. Jerome Overholt, 46, had a small grim face that most people found difficult to approach. Jerome had never married, preferring the bonds of work schedules to that of matrimony. He had gained a wide field of experience in the health care industry back East, rightfully earning the reputation as someone who knew how to get things done.

The new owners introduced themselves to the planning commission and were given a chance to speak. Todd, the spokesman of the partnership, adjusted his wire rimmed glasses, and after clearing his throat, began: "Ladies and gentlemen of the city council, my partner and I understand your hesitation. The responsibility for the care of others is not one to be taken lightly. No one knows this better than myself. Some time ago, I was confronted with placing my mother into a nursing home. Every nursing home has a different standard. I personally feel that most of the standards adopted by many nursing homes are unacceptable. I have visited many of them and feel I have an accurate idea of what they are like.

We joke about hospital food. The food in most nursing homes is nothing to laugh about. In fact, the food I tasted was outright awful. If a stewardess served you a meal that is commonly dished out in nursing homes, the airline would be sued. Believe me, I am not a hysterical person. What I have spoken about here today is just the tip of the iceberg."

Todd took off his glasses, and wiped his eyes. "I promise you," he began again, his voice becoming resolute, "any profit made will go directly back into the facility-- and not so the hallways can be re-wallpapered for the fiftieth time! Understand, this nursing home will not have the eyewash that most others do. Oftentimes, money goes into the appearance of the facility, not into the care of the elderly who must live there. I promise the residents will see that money in the form of well trained staff, decent food, in a clean and caring environment."

Todd's speech was well received, even though the quality of the previous nursing home had never been an issue. The city council only wanted to be sure that the new owners would stay within the confines of the "use permit." The necessary permit was issued, and, so that there would not be any further trouble in the future, it covered the mentally ill, as well. With this, the Mullen-Overholt Nursing Home was born. That was two years ago.

Todd Mullen kept his word. The Mullen-Overholt Nursing Home did not have much eyewash. It solemnly sat in the middle of a residential neighborhood, much to the chagrin of the neighbors. The white cement block building housed twenty beds, relatively small by nursing home standards. The furniture was shabby, the paint on the ceiling was peeling, and the carpets were worn and threadbare. There was no central air conditioning. On hot days, a collection of floor fans could be found scattered about the facility, trying their best to keep the air from stagnating. In the winter, the fans were replaced with space heaters.

The staff roughly consisted of: 24 certified nursing assistants, (12 for the weekday shift and 12 for the weekend shift); 12 nurses, (6 for the weekday shift and 6 for the weekend shift); the Director of Nursing, (DON); the Assistant Director of Nursing; the Medical Director; the Pharmacist; Housekeeping personnel; the Maintenance Supervisor; the Assistant Maintenance Supervisor; 6 cooks, (3 for the weekday shift and three for the weekend shift); the Resident Care Coordinator; the Activity Director; Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable personnel; and the Social Worker. At the top of this staff heap was Jerome Overholt. Jerome was not only the Administrator, but because of the smallness of the nursing home, he also served as the Admissions Coordinator. He lived at the nursing home five days a week. Jerome's living area was connected to a door located at the back of his office. The staff sarcastically referred to it as one of the perks of being the co-owner. Why anyone would voluntarily spend all their time at a nursing home, they could not comprehend.

Jerome's partner remained in San Francisco, leaving him in charge of practically everything connected to the Mullen-Overholt Nursing Home. Todd had done his part, the rest was up to Jerome.

"Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
~ Luke 12:48 ~

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