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Marler new director at Pike Manor

First a new building and now a new director: Changes are afoot at Pike Manor.

Susan Marler has taken control of the reins at Pike County's only nursing home and brings over a decade of health care experience to her new job.

Formerly the head administrator at Oakview Manor in Ozark, Marler spent her first day on the job Wednesday getting settled into her new office and preparing to take on responsibilities for health care for large numbers of the county's senior citizen population.

&uot;We plan on focusing on promoting our short-term rehab stays,&uot; Marler said. &uot;People can check in for a 20 day stay and receive therapy or long-term IV treatments or antibiotics and Medicare's part A will cover it 100 percent.&uot;

Marler, who replaces Linda Railey and Dianne Smith, said the short-term stays would be great for those looking for a brief respite from caring for their ailing parents.

&uot;A lot of the 80-year olds that we have now have kids who are 60-years old themselves. These short-term stays give the children a chance to rest up while the parents get some therapy,&uot; she said.

In addition, Pike Manor is about to be home to a new 21-bed unit that Marler said was desperately needed. She said the facilities are often full and the new rooms, which should open some time in March, would add some extra space.

Marler said she is looking forward to integrating Pike Manor into the health care network and community as a whole. The facility, which accepts residents and patients from Pike County and surrounding areas, currently has 213 beds.

&uot;We want to be an extension of the health care facilities in this area and a vital part of the Troy economy,&uot; Marler said.

Marler had already met some of Pike Manor's residents on her first day and was looking forward to meeting more.

&uot;I've already met one from Elba and that's neat because my husband is from Elba,&uot; she said.

Marler hails from Opp and began her health care career when she graduated from Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton. She took a job as a registered nurse unit manager with Northport Health Services and began a career that would take her through facilities in Andalusia, Opp, Georgianna and eventually, the top of the ladder at the nursing home in Ozark in December of 2000.

She said she expects to face the challenges posed by rising health care costs and hopes to be able to maximize resources in order to keep patient care at the highest possible levels while containing expenditures.

&uot;We're going to take care of our residents within the budgets that we have and we'll work smarter and not harder,&uot; she said. &uot;You really have to stay on your toes to deal with all the changing regulations.&uot;

Pike Manor opened in 1969 and was purchased by Hugo Marx III in December of 1985.

Stephen Stetson can be reached at stephen.stetson @troymessenger.com.