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County’s care facility gets new name

Andy Ouriel • Oct 6, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Goodbye, Erie County Care Facility.

Hello, The Meadows at Osborn Park.

All three Erie County commissioners agreed to change the name of the county-owned nursing home located in Osborn MetroPark off East Perkins Avenue. The change went into effect Thursday.

Commissioners chose the name after they and other nursing home employees brainstormed titles for weeks. “We wanted a name that was more appealing,” Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said. “We are going to try and do things that make it more pleasant for our residents out there.”

A name change, however, is hardly the only new aspect occurring at the public nursing home today.

In June, commissioners voted 3-0 to let Continuing Healthcare Solutions, a private firm, run daily operations at the nursing home.

The company manages dozens of nursing homes in Ohio, employing thousands of registered aides, nurses and support staff.

The county is funding $120,000 a year, with mutually agreeable renewals, to provide support staff for nursing home operations.

Commissioners needed professionals overseeing nursing home operations to reverse its financial standing.

The care facility has been among Erie County’s greatest fiscal burdens. Since 2002, the nursing home has lost $3.5 million and borrowed an additional $2.1 million from a county fund, according to financial data.

The nursing home business model is similar to a hotel’s: Finances suffer when beds are empty.

About 110 of the home’s 130 beds are occupied today — up from about 104 earlier this summer.

“There has been a lot of challenges at (The Meadows),” nursing home administrator Lori Opfer said. “I have been aware of the challenges for the last several years. But now you have a corporation that has regional marketing, nurses and other nursing home experts that can lead (The Meadows) in the direction that it needs to be in and make it financially successful.”

By any other name ...

Erie County commissioners changed the name of the Erie County Care Facility to The Meadows at Osborn Park. Here are some other options they considered before settling on a new name:

• The Crossings at Osborn Park

• The Pines at Osborn Park

• The Gardens at Osborn Park

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