Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Paynesville Area Health Care System (PAHCS) completed the sale agreement of Hilltop Care Center, Waktins, April 30, 2012, to main investors Tom Opatz and Fred Struzyk, who will now operate the facility under the name of Hilltop Healthcare Center, LLC.
Opatz and Struzyk, both living in the Watkins area, have worked in healthcare administration for several years. They will continue to operate the facility as a 50-bed skilled-care nursing home with plans to expand some areas, such as rehabilitation services.
PAHCS had owned the skilled care facility since 2002, which was previously owned by the Good Samaritan Society. Interim PAHCS CEO, Ron Ommen, stated in a press conference April 30 that all 84 employees have been retained under the new ownership and that there will be no lapse in employees' insurance coverage. PAHCS is assisting in defraying these costs until new insurance is secured. Opatz added that there was no loss in employee wages as a result of the sale, and, in some cases, there was an increase. The new ownership related the success of Hilltop Care Center greatly to the dedicated employees who work there.
Following recommendations through strategic planning, financial and organizational studies, the PAHCS Board of Directors concluded that finding new ownership for the skilled nursing facility was in the best interest for its residents, employees and for the health care system. Ommen stated that Hilltop Healthcare Center, LLC will now be operated by those experienced and focused in managing long-term care vs. an entire health care system.
Opatz stated that the relationship between PAHCS and Hilltop Healthcare Center, LLC has not ended. The new ownership will look to PAHCS to continue serving residents with health services that they cannot provide. "We plan to network with PAHCS in providing good, clinical outcomes," said Opatz. He and Struzyk held meetings with employees and met with each resident prior to the closing date.
"I am very happy that top-quality care is going to continue in Watkins," stated board chairman Robert Brauchler.