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Whispering Pines Nursing Center's closing leaves many in shock

BY ANN KELLEY Modified: February 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm •  Published: February 13, 2009
NORMAN — Residents of Whispering Pines Nursing Center and their families say that closing the home is not in their best interest.

As of Thursday, the nursing home at 501 E Robinson lost its certification to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements due to deficiencies in care found by state inspectors. The home will be shut down within 30 days, and its 128 residents will have to relocate.

"It’s not right,” James Young, 72, of Oklahoma City said. "My wife gets excellent care here. When I heard it was going to have to close my stomach dropped — I couldn’t believe it.”

Anna Young, 73, said she’s lived there for more than two years and doesn’t want to move.

Residents, frustrated family members and teary-eyed staff filled the center’s dining room Thursday for an informal meeting to discuss what will happen next.

Representatives from the state Health Department, Adult Protective Services and other advocacy groups were there to address concerns and offer a list of 60 other nursing homes in the five-county area.

Whispering Pines nurse Tracy Cody has worked there for 14 years. She said her only concern is for her displaced patients.

"I’ll find another job, because there’s always work for nurses,” Cody said. "This is home for them and leaving it won’t be easy.