Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center announced today it has finalized an agreement for the donation of land to The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society to ensure the community has long-term care services for many years to come.
With the donation of the land, Good Samaritan Society has agreed to build a new long-term care facility to better meet the needs of residents in Beatrice and the surrounding area. As a result of this arrangement, the long-term care facility of Parkview Center will be closed, effective April 1, 2010.
News of the Parkview Center closing was shared with employees in a series of meetings on Wednesday. About 50 full-time and 50 part-time and on-call staff are employed at Parkview. Severance packages will be provided employees based on years of service.
Approximately 44 residents and their guardians also were notified about the closing.
"We understand the disappointment our employees and our residents feel about this announcement," said Tom Sommers, hospital chief executive officer. "It has been a long and tough decision-making process for the hospital board of directors who had to find a way to balance fiscal responsibility with the community's needs."
Part of the decision-making process also was to ensure that the community continued to have long-term care services, according to John Rypma, hospital board chairman.
"We are confident that the commitment and decisions we have made to ensure that this community has quality long-term care services for many years to come will, in the end, be a positive one," Rypma said. "There are many unknowns in the healthcare industry today and we feel strongly that we have a responsibility to ensure all the community's healthcare needs are being met as we move forward."
According to a Letter of Intent signed by the Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center Board of Directors, the Health Systems of Beatrice Board of Directors and the Beatrice Retirement Board of Directors, the hospital will donate 31.5 acres of land in the Flowing Springs Development to the Good Samaritan Society for construction of a new long-term care facility. The center will replace Parkview Center and the Good Samaritan Society - Beatrice campus.
Based in Sioux Falls, S.D., the Society offers long-term care, assisted living, senior housing and other services at more than 240 locations in 24 states. The Society also operates Good Samaritan Society - Samaritan Springs, an assisted living center in Beatrice.
"We are deeply appreciative of the gift of land to build a new long-term care center at Flowing Springs," said Jacci Nickell, the Nebraska regional director for the Good Samaritan Society. "We believe this new center will provide a tremendous benefit to the entire Beatrice community and add to the continuum of care already provided by the Good Samaritan Society for seniors in the Beatrice area."
The Society's new skilled nursing center will feature neighborhood-style settings for residents that are designed to give residents and staff members more opportunities to share their daily lives in a way that feels like home.
The Good Samaritan Society's existing long-term care center at Beatrice will not be closed until the new center is built, said Nickell. At that point residents and their families - along with staff - will be given the opportunity to move to the new center, she said.
Construction of a new hospital also will be moving forward. The BCHHC Board of Directors this week voted to proceed with construction of a new hospital in north Beatrice. That decision had been highly anticipated as the board announced this past spring that it was working to finalize a new hospital design and project budget. A groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively planned for late October.