Murphy Exits Job At Nursing Facility

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Town of Payson mayoral candidate Ken Murphy is no longer executive director of the Manzanita Manor senior-care facility.

"I resigned Tuesday so that I could have flexible hours and time to pursue other things," Murphy said Thursday. "I'm going to work in another position locally next week."

Murphy would not specify what the new position, or who his new employer, might be.

"It was an amicable separation," said the facility's leaseholder, Mark Yampol of the Tucson-based management company, Community Care LLC.

Yampol has already replaced Murphy with "a very able-bodied management team," he said. "What I've done is divided up the clinical, business and other ancillary operations under the duties of three administrators to achieve maximum impact on all departments wherever necessary. I think the outlook is excellent."

Amid reports over the past few weeks that Manzanita Manor employees and some utility bills had gone unattended, Yampol said, "Everything is running, all payroll has been paid. There were some issues in the business office; there were billing and record-keeping problems that we are actively straightening out."

One week ago, Yampol said, his corporate office also discovered that medical insurance for Manzanita Manor employees had somehow lapsed.

"We jumped on it right away," he said. "Our insurance agent is here today (Thursday), and he's making sure we will have coverage for all staff."

Yampol took control of Manzanita Manor operations in February, 2000, after the former operator, Trillium Payson Inc. defaulted on its lease payments, lost its lease for the facilities, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Today, Yampol said, the future of the care center looks solid.

"There are some changes coming. Solid changes ... We are actively pursuing more staff, and (to remedy) things that have been a problem for some time now, we are bringing in a number of new people, establishing training programs and everything else, so there can be more stability.

"That's the key," he said. "We are looking for stability."

Family of residents in Manzanita Manor are invited to call an administrator at the care center at 474-1120 to learn more about the transition.

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