- Saint Mary’s East, founded 135 years ago by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, announced a change of ownership in February
- New York-based Hill Valley Healthcare Affiliate Closes Deal With $ 13 Million Purchase, Newly Filed Deed Says
- Staff remaining on site; complex that will be known as the Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale
Signs outside what was known as Saint Mary’s East reflect changes in the long-term care facility.
Saint Mary’s logos are covered, signaling that the new owner has arrived and therefore has a new name: Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center, in honor of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.
But the staff remain largely the same, at least for now, according to the new owner, a subsidiary of Hill Valley Healthcare, a New York-based for-profit company.
“We have hired 100% of the staff and plan to keep everyone,” said Steven Isaac, COO of Independence Healthcare Management, the Hill valley subsidiary company. “St. Mary’s has a phenomenal reputation in the Erie community and the basis of that reputation is its staff.
“We want to be as integrated as possible in the community of Erie,” said Isaac. “We will explore ways to achieve this.”
Saint Mary’s East employed the equivalent of 192 full-time workers as of May 31, up from 217 on Dec. 24, said Allen Bonace, former chief of Saint Mary’s East and CEO of Saint Mary’s of Asbury Ridge, which was not part of the sale.
“We had a few people who didn’t want to continue with the new owner, but most of them wanted to give them a chance,” Bonace said.
The sale of the nonprofit Saint Mary’s East opens a new era for a business the Sisters of Saint Joseph founded as a mission 135 years ago on East 26th and Ash streets in Erie.
The nine-acre property and complex at 607 E. 26th St. was sold for $ 13 million, according to a deed filed Tuesday at the Erie County Courthouse.
The buyer on the deed is listed as 607 E. 26 Street SNF Real Estate, with an address in Brooklyn, New York. SNF stands for “Qualified Nursing Institution”. “
The new owner took out a mortgage of $ 15.8 million to finance the transaction. County property records show that the lender is Greystone Servicing Company LLC, of Virginia.
The Saint Mary’s signs were still outside the building on Thursday, but the Saint Mary’s logos had been covered in what appeared to be large stickers.
The property had been tax exempt under the ownership of Saint Mary’s. It’s valued at $ 12.9 million, which would translate to an annual property tax bill of about $ 467,000, according to county assessment records.
Saint Mary’s other property remains unaffected
Although the sale ends the tenure of one Saint Mary’s facility on the east side of Erie, the name will remain attached to another senior citizen facility in western Erie County.
Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, the former owner of Saint Mary’s East, continues to own and operate Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge and the Carriage Homes at Asbury Ridge, both in Millcreek Township. None of these facilities were included in the sale.
“This sale allows us to give our full attention to Asbury Ridge and make it the premier senior community in the area,” said Bonace.
As part of the sale, Bonace and his staff are not permitted to recruit employees or residents of Nightingale for 18 months, although an exception has been made.
“We had a resident who was actually on the contract,” Bonace said. “He was a retired diocesan (Catholic) priest who was allowed to move to Asbury Ridge. And he did.”
Chain of purchases
Saint Mary’s East sale included its beds and other activities. It has 139 licensed nursing home beds, of which 39 are part of the Gallagher Center Alzheimer’s unit, 131 personal care home beds and an adult day care center, which was closed for most of 2020 due to the pandemic. .
Many residents of Saint Mary’s East were low income. Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates and the expectation of a need for costly updates were two key factors that led the management and board of Saint Mary’s Home of Erie to sell Saint Mary’s East, said Bonace when the sale was announced in February.
Also in February, Hill Valley CEO Shimmy Idels said the new owner had agreed to maintain similar pay levels and benefits for existing employees at Erie.
In addition to no longer operating as a non-profit organization, the former Saint Mary’s facility will no longer be affiliated with the Catholic Church. But Hill Valley said the facility will offer Catholic services to residents who request them.
Hill Valley was established two years ago to own and operate skilled nursing facilities across the country. Saint Mary’s East is the 11th Hill Valley facility and the first in Pennsylvania.
The purchase of Saint Mary’s East is one of several projects Hill Valley has recently completed. In November, Riverside Lifelong Health announced that Hill Valley had agreed to acquire three of its facilities in Virginia. This deal was for $ 21.7 million.
Editors Jim Martin and AJ Rao contributed to this report.