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W.Va. nursing home construction begins

March 26, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Nursing home officials broke ground on a new building Wednesday, spelling the end of an era for two older nursing homes.

Shirley Alger owns the nursing home his mother bought in the 1950s and ran until she became a resident of her own nursing home.

The new $4.5 million nursing home will replace the one run by Alger and a second nursing home in Charles Town.

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"A facility such as ours is a dinosaur," said Shirley Alger, president of Knott Home. "While it offers personal care and a home-like atmosphere...I have the feeling the state would prefer the residents in a more state-of-the-art facility like this one will be than a `Mom and Pop' facility," Alger said.

The new Shenandoah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will replace two existing Jefferson County long-term care centers, the 30-bed Knott Home and the 48-bed Shenandoah Home, said Jefferson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Teresa McCabe.

The 78-bed facility is being built on Prospect Street in Charles Town, officials said.

State law limits the number of nursing home beds allowed, so when the new facility is completed in the spring of 1998, the other two homes will be closed, officials said.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital, the owner of Shenandoah Home, was looking at an expensive remodeling of the building when Glenmark-Multicare Inc., stepped in and offered to build a new center as a joint venture, said Glenn Adrian, divisional director of operations for Glenmark-Multicare.

Alger also agreed to give up his nursing home's bed space and close his building.

Alger said that when he met with Glenmark officials last year, he asked that the nursing home beds be kept in the community, that his employees be transferred to the new facility and that one of the rooms be reserved for his mother, Kenna Knott Travell.

His mother died on December 30, 1996, at the age of 92, at the nursing home she had owned.

"My only problem now is what am I going to do with my building," Alger said.

Glenmark will own 60 percent of the new nursing home and Jefferson Memorial Hospital will own the remaining 40 percent, McCabe said.

The new nursing home will operate as a for-profit venture, Adrian said.

Shenandoah Home had been operated as a non-profit facility, said administrator Julie Connell.

The officials of the new Shenandoah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will meet with family members of the residents of the two older nursing homes to discuss what the changes will mean for the residents' care once they get closer to the completion of the new building, Adrian said.

Adrian said prices for service at the new nursing home have not been determined.

The new center will meet Medicaid requirements and officials are working to obtain Medicare certification, Adrian said.

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