Weatherford Democrat

June 27, 2013

Company takes over troubled nursing facility


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE



Crescent Senior Care has a new management company that reports they are working to buy the facility from the current ownership as soon as possible.

The owners of College Park Rehabilitation and Care Center in Weatherford signed a management agreement Friday afternoon that went into effect immediately as they await approval of an emergency change of ownership request submitted to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and closure on the sale.

“It basically gives us the authority to make needed changes to get the home to where it’s meeting state and federal regulations,” said Tami Fitzgerald, administrator of the College Park skilled-nursing facility.

They will be changing the name of the facility to Hilltop Park Rehabilitation and Care Center.

“We look at this as a positive addition to our current facility,” Fitzgerald said, noting that the Hilltop Drive facility has a secure unit, as well as assisted living.

They currently have 60 residents in the skilled-nursing portion of the facility licensed for 132-beds and about 15 residents in the 40-bed assisted-living area.

College Park Rehabilitation and Care Center, owned by Robert Cramer and other investors, opened in February 2009 and is a 120-bed skilled-nursing facility. In March, Cramer said the College Park facility had a waiting list and was sending potential residents to surrounding cities because they couldn’t meet the demand.

The company is also expected to break ground on a similar 128-bed, skilled-nursing facility in Willow Park, called Willow Park Rehabilitation and Care Center, within the next month.

The arrangements for sale come as Crescent Senior Care has been besieged by significant financial problems in recent months, with many employees alleging they received bad paychecks and multiple service providers claiming the company owes hundreds of thousands in unpaid bills. 

Though the sale has not been completed, the hopeful owners have stepped in to make sure the facility needs are met and operations continue smoothly, according to Fitzgerald.

New management has provided the funds for the last two payrolls to make sure employees’ checks were good and used local banks so employees could cash them in town, Fitzgerald said.

“We have set them up with a major food vendor so they are getting food delivered twice a week,” Fitzgerald said.

They made sure the facility is getting medical supplies delivered again, as well, according to Fitzgerald.

“I feel confident we have the appropriate staff, supplies, food and medicine to take care of residents going forward,” Fitzgerald said.

They’ve also been making other improvements such as installing a new washer, dryer and dishwasher.

Deficiencies noted by DADS during a recent inspection must also be cleared before the change of ownership occurs, something they are working towards, Fitzgerald said.

“There have been some changes in management in the building,” Fitzgerald said. “There will be more changes forthcoming to meet state and federal regulations.”

The new managing company has filled a vacant maintenance director position, replaced the housekeeping supervisor and replaced the social worker with a person licensed to hold the position as required by the state, Fitzgerald said, adding they are also currently interviewing for the position of director of nursing after the former director resigned.

“As far as I’ve seen, the care of residents by nursing staff has been very good,” Fitzgerald said.

“The people that have stayed and done this for the residents should be applauded,” Fitzgerald said, adding that they hope employees continue to stay and help care for those at the facility.

The company hopes to have the ownership request approved by DADS within the month so the sale can be completed at that point.