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Construction has begun for the new LECOM Senior Living Center

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has introduced the next generation of care for older adults during a formal groundbreaking for the LECOM Senior Living Center.
With a toss of their shovels, LECOM officials and local elected officials heralded the beginning of a new center of excellence for adult nursing care.
For its residents, the LECOM Senior Living Center will have the “feel of home” while also providing a higher level of care to the region’s growing elderly population. “The Center will be in keeping with LECOM’s historical focus on osteopathic medicine and caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit,” said James Lin, D.O., Vice President of Senior Services and Adult Living and Director of the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging. “We’re very excited because the LECOM Senior Living Center will make us the only health system in Northwestern Pennsylvania able to provide a true continuum of care. Our goal will not just be adding years to seniors’ lives, but adding life to their years.”LECOM is investing more than $42 million in the 151,000-square-foot, skilled-nursing facility. Construction has begun on land just south of Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH), 5515 Peach St. The five-story facility, scheduled to open by the summer of 2015, will house 144 private rooms grouped in neighborhoods of 18 rooms on four of the five floors. The center will bring together exciting and innovative, patient-centered health care and the education of future physicians, pharmacists and dentists.

Upon its opening, the LECOM Senior Living Center is expected to create more than 200 jobs. The facility also will allow the College’s medical, pharmacy, and dental students to work collaboratively and to learn more effectively the complexities of caring for the elderly.

An agreement with Erie County allowed for the transfer of 88 skilled nursing beds from the county-owned Pleasant Ridge Manor to Millcreek Manor, a 50-bed skilled nursing facility connected to MCH. The agreement paved the way for the county to combine two nursing homes into one facility in Fairview and for LECOM to build its own facility incorporating the next generation of senior living care.

More about the LECOM Senior Living Center

Each of the facility’s 144 residents will have private rooms with private bathrooms. The living spaces have been designed with their comfort, privacy, and need for space in mind.

Each floor also will have communal dining and activity areas that will allow residents to better know their neighbors and to allow staff to better support residents’ individual needs and interests.

Other features and amenities of the facility include:

  • A dedicated rehabilitation area for physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
  • A full-service pharmacy, spa, beauty salon, and restaurant.
  • Geriatric outpatient services.
  • An indoor corridor connecting the facility to Millcreek Community Hospital.

The Senior Living Center’s proximity to the hospital will allow for a continuum of care if they require acute hospitalization and transitional care. It is the latest addition to a growing academic health campus that includes the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center and MCH.
“We’re very pleased and excited to have been chosen by LECOM as a strategic partner and look forward to helping the College meet all of its goals for the Senior Living Center,” said Brian Happ, President and CEO of ERDMAN.LECOM has contracted ERDMAN of Madison, Wis., to plan, develop, and construct the facility. ERDMAN, a national leader in healthcare consulting, facility development, and design, has been working with LECOM to envision a facility focused on both quality of care and operational efficiency.

In May, the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging and Millcreek Community Hospital launched the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program. They became the first Erie health care organization recognized for their commitment to improving health care for older adults. The training involved will prepare the staff and physicians to provide optimal care at the new Senior Living Center.