One-fourth, three, and $15.7 million -- three numbers that add up to one big expansion for the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine announced today the $15.7 million purchase of three senior living communities -- an investment, according to a press release issued by the nation's largest medical school, that is designed to add "another dimension to its health care programs for older adults," -- a demographic of Erie County's population that comprises nearly one out of every four residents.
“This creates a healthy and proactive environment that values keeping older adults independent in their decisions through each part of the continuum,” said James Lin DO, Director of the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging. “LECOM is continuing to embrace its commitment to provide high-quality, ethical and empathetic resident centered care to serve the needs of a diverse population.”
Lin, a class of 2014 member of Erie's 40 Under 40, added: “While much of the growth of our health services has been centered around our hospital and wellness center on Peach Street, this acquisition allows us to bring our geriatric and other health care services to a larger geographic region. We recently opened geriatric physician offices in Corry, Harborcreek, and Meadville, as we now expand north into the city, farther west into Millcreek, and to North East. Just one more piece of the continuum of care that LECOM offers.”
Totaling more than two-hundred apartment-style homes, the three communities include:Regency at South Shore, a three-story, 116-unit building with 70 licensed personal care units; Parkside at Westminster, a three-story, 76-unit apartment building and independent living community; and Parkside at North East, a 51-unit, split-level building with two levels on one side and three on the other. Twenty apartments are personal care units; the rest are independent living units for adults.
About 60 people work at these locations, and their jobs -- along with the status of current residents -- will not be affected by the acquisition.
The news of LECOM's purchase is coming just a few months before the school plans to unveil its new, state-of-the-art Senior Living Center -- a five-story facility located at 5535 Peach St. Currently, LECOM has invested more than $42 million in the 151,000-square-foot, skilled nursing facility adjacent to Millcreek Community Hospital.
LECOM officials report an expected two-hundred jobs to be created by the LECOM Senior Living Center.
So no current jobs lost with the purchase of three senior communities, the creation of new jobs with the opening of a new facilility, and a wide arrary of options for Erie's mature population -- three things that result in a boon for both Erie's economy and its aging demographic.
Ben Speggen can be contacted at bSpeggen@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @BenSpeggen.