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Willmar, Minn., Care Center sets Oct. 1 closing date

A relocation plan for the residents at Willmar Care Center has been accepted by the Minnesota Department of Health and the facility will officially close its doors in October. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR - The Willmar Care Center will close its doors on Oct. 1, nursing home officials said Monday.

A relocation plan for the facility's residents also has been accepted by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Since the announcement a month ago of the home's closing, staff have been working with state and county officials to find new placements for the residents.

"It's going very well," Brianne Wolters, Willmar Care Center administrator, said Monday. Some residents have already been moved to other facilities and some have gone back into the community, she said.

The Willmar Care Center, which is licensed for 52 beds, had 28 residents at the time the closure was announced. The skilled care facility has been owned since 2011 by Deseret Health Group of Utah.

Wolters said she and the staff are working closely with Kandiyohi County Family Services and a state ombudsman to create as smooth a transition as possible for relocating the residents.

"We have weekly meetings to ensure that people have choice," she said.

Willmar Care Center employees, who will be out of a job when the facility closes Oct. 1, also are starting to look for new employment.

"We've had lots of facilities call and let us know what their openings are for staff," Wolters said.

She said the Willmar Care Center expects to have all of its residents moved to other facilities by the Oct. 1 closing date.

"It's tough but I think it'll all work out," she said. "Everybody's been wonderful."

The Willmar Care Center has been under duress the past few years. It is on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services special focus facility list, a program to improve nursing homes with a history of quality issues. Earlier this year the facility also was under state monitoring to correct what the Minnesota Department of Health said was a pattern of deficiencies constituting immediate jeopardy to residents. State monitoring was lifted in May.

Dan Burdett

Dan Burdett is the community content coordinator at the West Central Tribune. He has 13 years experience in print media, to include four years enlisted service in the United States Air Force. He has been an employee of Forum Communications since 2005, joining the company after spending two years as the managing editor of the Redwood Gazette and Livewire in Redwood Falls. Prior to his current position, Dan was the presentation editor at the Tribune.

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