Complete Healthcare Resources looks to increase staffing at Centre Crest

As the Centre Crest transition to a public nonprofit continues to move forward, the new management company is looking to increase staffing levels.

Centre County Commissioner Chris Exarchos said that Complete Healthcare Resources is aggressively looking for new hires and making them as soon as qualified people become available.

“They continue to hire people on a daily basis,” he said.

Part of the reason for the increased staffing stems from an increased number of residents in the facility. When the nursing home’s future was in limbo, the numbers dipped to the low 200s, but after the vote, the numbers have gone up to more than 220 with a waiting list developing, Exarchos said.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Steve Dershem added that such an increase in residents makes it harder on the staff.

“It's just difficult to bounce from a relatively low number to a high number and accommodate the amount of care that that requires,” he said.

The facility has 240 beds, and the company is looking at add about 15 positions, county Administrator Tim Boyde said.

In its original report to the commissioners, CHR said the facility already was a little understaffed and that it wanted to increase the number of nurse hours per patient day, another reason for the staffing jumps.

Exarchos attributes the increased number of residents to the resolved future of the facility. He said the sometimes-controversial discussions took a negative toll on the facility, but that he thinks the facility can continue to grow now. They can focus more of an effort on marketing and making Centre Crest more visible in the community, he said.

“People are starting to consider Centre Crest again now that the dust has sort of settled,” he said.

Boyde added that CHR has streamlined the process for residents trying to get into the facility and the answers come back much more quickly than before.

The facility is still scheduled to begin running as a nonprofit at midnight Oct. 31.

Exarchos said that no major hurdles remain in that transition. The state Department of Health recently approved the transfer of ownership, which was one of the last steps to complete, he said.

“It looks like everything is on track to move forward,” he said.