Centre Crest board touts successful transition to nonprofit status

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One year after oversight of the Centre Crest nursing home was turned over to a nonprofit board of directors by Centre County, the board reported stable operating costs and an overall positive outcome for the facility.

The board made the announcement during a news conference Friday at the facility.

“It’s a little hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we did this transition,” Chairwoman Betsy Boyer said. “We’re here to say that we have done what we promised to do last year.”

Centre County turned Centre Crest over to the board on Nov. 1, 2013.

Financially, the board said, the facility has been operating in the black every month — except for one — since February. It also has not had to utilize the facility’s line of credit in the first year, and it is not projected to need that credit in 2015.

Nursing agency staffing also has dropped considerably, Boyer said, relieving a huge expense.

“Certain staffing levels are mandated,” secretary/treasurer Carl Raup said. “If we don’t have the employees, we have to reach out to agencies, which costs an extraordinary amount.”

Centre Crest implemented an aggressive recruitment/retention program, the board said. Staffing rose from 217 in October 2013 to a current staff of 277. Higher staff numbers also allow for a lower staff-to-resident ratio.

The daily census report also is up, according to board member Steve Brown, growing from 211 in 2013 to 224 in 2014.

“An increase in the number of admissions and the overall daily census has been indicative of an increase in quality,” Boyer said. She attributed the stable staff numbers and consistency of care to the Complete Healthcare Resources management company and its work within the facility.

CHR was chosen by the Centre County Board of Commissioners as the management agency for Centre Crest in September 2013.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without CHR,” Vice Chairman Larry Bickford said.

According to Boyer, residents are receiving better care, families are noticing the improvement and a resident council has been created, allowing residents to provide feedback on concerns such as food and appearance.

Of the 331 residents admitted during the first year of operations, 134 have been discharged to their homes, the board said.

“That says a lot about the care they got here,” Raup said.

Marketing for Centre Crest already has shown results, board member Al Jones said.

Board members said they will begin planning for a new facility by the beginning of 2015.

“Part of that will be envisioning a strategic planning process,” Bickford said. “We needed to commit ourselves to turning this organization around and focusing on staff, services and finances before talking about a new building.”

Once those responsibilities are under control, he said, then a new facility can be planned.