YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Years of planning and months of work culminated Monday evening with an open house at the Heritage Manor Rehabilitation & Retirement Community, as donors got their first glimpse of the completed first phase.
Phase 1 – a $2.2 million investment – adds 12 private rooms to the Skilled Nursing Center at 517 Gypsy Lane, each with its own bathroom, as well as a dedicated nursing station and dining room. family eating.
The project aligns with the center’s goal of achieving a one-resident, one-bedroom model, said Eric Murray, executive director of senior services for the Youngstown-area Jewish Federation. The project does not increase the center’s bed count, but rather moves it to a model where all rooms are private.
“We just expanded our footprint,” he said.
Planning for the project has been underway for several years and construction began in May, Murray said. The model for private living spaces actually grew out of a needs assessment conducted early in planning, he said, but through the pandemic, Heritage Manor learned that it was necessary for the control of infections.
“What was initially our preference, in terms of privacy, has really become more of an infection control issue and a matter of life and death,” he said.
During the pandemic, Heritage Manor has been “pretty good” at keeping infections under control, he said. At first, the center stopped putting multiple residents in one room and didn’t see its first positive COVID-19 diagnosis until a year after rolling out vaccinations, he said.
“We were able to go about 19 months before we had our first resident COVID case,” he said. “Vaccinations have greatly improved everyone’s chances of staying healthy and surviving it.”
The next phase of the expansion will provide each resident with their own private bathroom as well as living space, Murray said. Currently, 66 of the 72 rooms have their own private bathroom. Heritage Manor is home to 52 residents, he noted.
Gallery images include Eric Murray of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, interior photos of one of the new rooms, a room plaque, the Schwebel Family Foundation wing sign, the wall of the expansion campaign and renderings of the rehabilitation solarium and therapeutic gymnastics areas.
Fundraising financed more than half of the expansion. When the project started, it was important to the federation’s board that the Jewish community and the community at large support it, said Lisa Long, director of financial resource development. The federation therefore turned to donors from both communities to reach the goal of $500,000 that the board had set for the project.
“We were able to raise over $1.2 million,” Long said. “I think given everything that was going on with COVID at that time, people were very passionate about making sure the most vulnerable in our valley were protected. And that was really a life-saving gift that people could give.
The organization was shocked by the amount it was able to raise for the project, Long admits.
“This community never ceases to amaze me with their generosity and commitment,” she said. “It just goes to show that we are not just an agency of the Jewish Federation, but we are an agency of the Valley and a trusted partner in healthcare.”
Plaques affixed outside each room bear the name of the donating family or organization, as well as the names of the people for whom the donations were made. Many of the names are in honor or in memory of people who were cared for or lived at Heritage Manor, Long said.
“So their legacy really lives on,” she said.
The Schwebel Family Foundation donated more than $250,000, and the new wing was named in honor of Paul Schwebel, who died in 2020. Schwebel served as treasurer, executive vice president, and president of Schwebel Baking Co. , which was founded by his grandparents Joseph and Dora Schwebel.
Members of the Schwebel family were present for the open house, including sisters Samie and Alyson Winick, granddaughters of Joseph and Dora Schwebel.
The Schwebel family saw the donation as an investment in the community, as well as in the safety and security of people coming to Heritage Manor, Samie Winick said. This includes nursing residents and rehabilitation patients.
“We were really excited to be a part of this,” Winick said. “We were here when it was more or less a construction site, and the end product is really beautiful.”
The second phase of the project is underway and will see the rehab space expanded to around 1,600 square feet, Murray said. The rehab center will also have a room dedicated to practicing “coming home skills”, so patients can demonstrate to their therapists that it is safe to return home.
“Our goal is to make sure they stay home and are safe when they get home,” he said.
Murray expects phase two to be completed in May. The general contractor is DeSalvo Construction Co. of Hubbard.
The organization is still weighing how best to proceed with phase three, which will completely renovate the interior of Heritage Manor, moving away from double occupancy bedrooms and renovating the current so-called “Jack and Jill bathrooms”, where two residents share a bathroom. The federation hopes to start phase three in the spring and complete it in the fall, he said.
The entire expansion project is expected to cost some $3.5 million.
After all three phases of the project are complete, the center expects the Schwebel Family Foundation wing will eventually be designated more for its rehab patients, said Nancy Wagner, chair of the council’s Social Services Board. Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. Once that happens and skilled care residents are moved to their own rooms, “we’ll likely need additional staff because it’s a different kind of rehab nursing,” Wagner said.
“We’ve always been very lucky to have great staff,” Wagner said. “We have a number of RNs and LPNs, so we have top staff.”
Under proposed federal legislation under the Biden administration, elder care centers will have to offer private rooms to residents and maintain a minimum staffing model, Wagner said. Heritage Manor has had “nice hires lately”, she said. “So we feel really, really lucky about that.”
Heritage Manor employs about 105 people and still hires state-tested nurses and nursing assistants, or STNA, Murray said. Heritage Manor offers a career path, even if someone starts out as an STNA, “there are opportunities and we have scholarships available when someone becomes a nurse if they want to become a registered nurse. [registered nurse],” he said.
“We are more aggressive in our approach,” he said. “We hired a recruiter to help us form partnerships in the community.
Pictured above: Lisa Long, Director of Financial Resource Development for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, outside the Schwebel Family Foundation wing with Samie and Alyson Winick of the Schwebel family.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.