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CEO Scott Burpee was interview by the Idaho State Journal about his preparations to return to Africa with International Aid Services.
October 8, 2012 11:45 pm | Updated: 1:09 am, Tue Oct 9, 2012.
By Tammy Scardino
POCATELLO — Safe Haven Health Care President Scott Burpee’s concern for people’s well-being is far reaching.
Besides the fact he has worked in the nursing home industry since 1978, he’s also opted to serve as a non-denominational missionary in Africa.
Currently, Burpee is preparing for his latest trip overseas as an International Aid Services representative.
In a question-and-answer session, he had this to say:
Q. What is your background with regards to the nursing home industry?
A. “I founded Safe Haven in 2007. We provide services in the realm of assisted living, in-home care and offer skilled nursing care in a hospital-like setting. Plus, we care for the mentally ill. We started out with 150 employees and have grown to a total of 500. I wrote some of the original assisted-living legislation here in Idaho back in the early ’90s. I also had a hand in crafting legislation having to do with the nursing home reimbursement system.”
Q. What is it that has made your company such a success?
A. “The last few years have been difficult for those who are in the nursing home industry here in Idaho. There was a (payment) formula I had perfected. That is what I apply to gloomy situations when we are asked to help out. In some situations, the nursing home director asks for help or bank officials have requested our assistance. The formula works. The beds that were empty are now full. We have locations in Idaho Falls, Shelley, Blackfoot, Pocatello, Chubbuck, Burley, Lava Hot Springs, Challis, Boise, Wendell, Gooding and Bellevue. Also, we plan on building a brand new nursing home and assisted living complex in Sun Valley next year.”
Q. What is your connection to Africa in particular?
A. “I lived in south Sudan in the early ’80s. We went there as Assemblies of God missionaries. Our first child was born there. My wife, Jan, and I also reconnected with a friend there. We both were in support of a group that is now called International Aid Services. It’s an active group in five different countries. I founded the one here in the United States.”
Q. What are the conditions like in south Sudan?
A. “It’s extremely primitive. They do not have any clean water, electricity or cell phones. When we are down there, a satellite provides us with access to the Internet. We tap into Skype for cell phone use. The main focus of IAS is to help dig wells for water.”
Q. What other types of services does the group offer?
A. “We have doctors, nurses and dentists that go with us. My wife is a nurse. She is going on our upcoming trip in January of 2013. They provide health care and training. For example, we take them microscopes so they can determine what parasite a sick person is suffering from. We show them how to use the device and also treat the person with the ailment. Although, I have a background in accounting. So, I tend to support the building projects while I am there.”
Q. Why do you support this cause?
A. “We are so blessed in this country. I feel as though we need to pay it forward. I get more out of these types of experiences than the people we help do. You just can’t put a price on the lives saved. Once you go, there’s no turning back.”
Q. How can people get involved?
A. “They can visit the IAS website to read blogs. Interested persons can donate money, or they can go with us on the upcoming trip. Anyone who is interested can give me a call at (208) 221-4721.”