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Willmar Care Center to close Aug. 31

WILLMAR - Deseret Health Group, the owner of the Willmar Care Center, announced Wednesday it will close the facility on Aug. 31.

The skilled care facility, licensed for 52 beds, is located at 500 Russell Street N.W. It is one of four long-term care centers in Willmar.

Deseret’s announcement said the closure was a difficult decision that “came after much thought and consideration.”

The Utah-based for-profit company said in a statement, “After careful review we have determined that the closure of our facility at Willmar is the best option to ensure the long-term well-being of our residents, as well as our ongoing commitment to delivering quality, compassionate care in the communities we serve. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our family here in Willmar, and we will do everything in our power to make their transition as seamless as possible.”

Residents will be transitioned over the next several weeks to a facility of their choosing, Deseret said. Care will continue to be provided until the Willmar Care Center closes its doors at the end of August.

Deseret said a state ombudsman has been invited to participate in the process to ensure a smooth transition and to make additional resources and information available to residents and their families.

Deseret Health Group acquired the Willmar Care Center in 2011. The company owns nursing homes in Utah, Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska.

The Willmar Care Center has been the subject of state and federal sanctions in recent years. From December 2012 until May of this year, it was under state monitoring to correct what the Minnesota Department of Health said was a pattern of deficiencies constituting immediate jeopardy to residents. In its most recent survey this spring, state inspectors found the facility was back in compliance. The facility also 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.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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