Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Yampa Valley Medical Center has reached an agreement with West Routt Rural Health Council Inc. to acquire The Haven, Routt County's only assisted living facility.
The hospital and West Routt Rural Health made the announcement Tuesday. The deal is expected to be completed early next year.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
West Routt Rural Health, owner and operator of The Haven, and the medical center signed a letter of intent that will transfer ownership of the assisted living center to the medical center.
The Haven opened in July 1996. Maximum occupancy at the facility is 20, and there currently are 13 residents. Staff includes five full-time and 10 part-time employees.
Residents, their families and staff of both facilities have been notified of the ownership change.
"We believe this is a step forward and will secure the future of The Haven," said Mark Fischer, president of West Routt Rural health. "We see this as a win-win situation for Yampa Valley Medical Center, The Haven, its residents and staff, and the entire community of Hayden and West Routt."
Medical center CEO Karl Gills said The Haven is an important asset for the medical center in its mission to serve the needs of the region.
"We plan to operate The Haven as a department of Yampa Valley Medical Center, as we do the Doak Walker Care Center and GrandKids Child Care Center," Gills said. "Assisted living fits with our mission and adds to the continuum of health care we already offer to the residents of Northwest Colorado."
Gills said there were no plans to change staff or operations at the facility, though Director Lucy Rickman plans to retire. Gills said Rickman plans to remain in place until her replacement can be hired and trained.
The Haven differs from Doak Walker Care Center. The Haven does not have medical personnel on staff. Residents live independently, while staff members provide assistance with activities and meals as desired. The Doak Walker Care Center is a skilled-nursing facility, with medical personnel available to assist residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Gills said the medical center should provide stability to The Haven, which has struggled to reach ideal occupancy levels. The medical center can better market and promote the facility than it has been in the past, Gill said.
Fischer and Rickman agreed.
"The ups and downs have created an ongoing financial dilemma," Rickman said. "The Haven has also experienced isolation in marketing, purchasing, resident services, employee recruitment and employee benefits. YVMC will be able to address those concerns."
Fischer and Rickman have been involved with The Haven since the idea of an assisted living center in Hayden was first conceived in 1992. Several years of planning and fund raising culminated in the 1996 opening.
"We are very proud of The Haven, and of all those who have given of their time and effort throughout the past 11 years," Fischer said. "Keeping The Haven under the auspices of a Yampa Valley entity means maintaining local control and vision."
Bob Maddox, chairman of the medical center's board of directors, said the board is enthusiastic about the agreement.
"When this option was presented to the YVMC Board of Trustees, we were pleased to be asked to consider assuming operation of The Haven as part of YVMC," he said. "After full discussion, we gave our total support to this direction, which we feel will benefit the citizens of Hayden and the entire Yampa Valley."