Erie, Pa. – An agreement reached among the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), Millcreek Health System and Erie County Council on behalf of Pleasant Ridge Manor has cleared the way for a five-story skilled nursing facility. The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Senior Living Center will be built on land south of Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) at 5515 Peach Street in Erie. The new facility is expected to open in 2015.
The agreement allows for the transfer of 88 skilled nursing beds from the county-owned Pleasant Ridge Manor to Millcreek Manor, which is now a 50-bed skilled nursing facility connected to MCH. Officials from Millcreek Health System, Pleasant Ridge Manor and Erie County formally announced the agreement today at a news conference held at LECOM.
The agreement opens 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.
“This building will provide a more welcoming home-like setting for senior living,” said James Lin, D.O., director of the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging and a fellowship-trained geriatric physician. “LECOM is developing an innovative model of care that is far from the traditional, sterile nursing home environment.”
Dr. Lin added that the senior living center should create 150 to 250 jobs. This facility will also house an expanded LECOM Institute for Successful Aging outpatient center, he said. Construction is scheduled to begin in early summer.
“It’s a great day for Erie and our surrounding communities,” said Mary L. Eckert, president and CEO of Millcreek Community Hospital. “We’re excited to be able to continue meeting our communities’ needs by providing enhanced care for the elderly in a new, 138-bed skilled nursing facility. We’re also proud to show how non-profits, such as our health system, can work successfully with government in the best interests of the people we all serve.”
Upon hearing that DPW has accepted the agreement, Pleasant Ridge Manor Executive Director Robert V. Smith agreed. “While the whole process has taken longer than we had hoped, the end result will benefit us all – Millcreek Health System, Pleasant Ridge Manor, and most importantly, the elderly and disabled residents of Erie County.”
LECOM has begun clearing the land south of Millcreek Community Hospital in preparation for construction. Ground breaking for the new senior living center is planned for late June.