STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - The Centre Crest Nursing Home in Bellefonte will undergo some sort of change in the upcoming months.
Centre Crest is losing 1.5 million dollars a year. The Centre County Board of Commissioners want the home to be managed by a non-profit organization.
While the commissioners say they don't expect anyone to lose their jobs, union reps for employees at the home are worried about cuts for workers healthcare, and changes to their retirement plans. Wednesday night, Centre County Commissioners held one of 5 forums on the future of Centre Crest.
WTAJ News found that the family members of Centre Crest residents we talked to, aren't opposed to a change in management, but are still worried about what it will bring.
This was the commissioners' second public forum on the future of Centre Crest. After a disappointing turnout at the first one, there was a much better turnout at the State College Municipal Building. While many of those that turned out spoke up, many of the opinions voiced varied.
Some are pleased about the planned changes, some are not. Then there's Jackie Babcock. Her mother Jane MacMillan will turn 86 in May. MacMillan said Centre Crest is where she wanted to be when she needed full time care earlier this year. But Babcock says she didn't know about the planned change, and thinks it might have changed her mind.
"I think she would have been a little nervous..."
Babcock says she talks to Centre Crest staff every day when visiting. Those she's talked with aren't worried about new management. But like many at Wednesday's meeting, she is worried about possible staff changes. Which could change the way her mom is cared for.
"...Some of them have worked there for 24-30 years. And I wouldn't want to see any of them get cut. They are such dedicated people. They think of the patients first."
But Commissioner Michael Pipe says the final decision on staffing will rest with the new management. But unless there's a criminal charge, a failed drug test, or something of the like, Pipe says the staff should transition to the new management.
"...The nonprofit and management company that may take over will be able to create the facility how they want to create it. They may choose to switch around different positions. But I think it would be insane for the new non-profit not to rely on the employees that are currently there."
As for Babcock, she just wants to make sure her mother's care won't be micro-managed by the new management.
"...We'll just have to do our homework and keep an eye on everything..."
They'll have another meeting next Tuesday at Centre Hall Elementary, but they expect the best turnout in three weeks on March 27th at the Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte. Babcock says she's just one of the many who are planning to attend.
Centre County Commissioners expect the home to be up and running under new management by the end of the year.