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Another care center interested in Parkview

By Staff | Mar 23, 2009

Owners of another local nursing home are expressing interest in a long-term care facility in Wells.

Jim Birchem, the owner of Parker Oaks Communities, Inc., in Winnebago, has met with officials of Parkview Care Center to discuss purchase of the 61-bed facility.

“There’s nothing signed on the dotted line yet. We’re still talking with them,” says Jerry Ehn, administrator at Parkview.

Birchem owns ElderCare of Minnesota, which operates 10 skilled nursing homes and 20 assisted-living facilities in the state.

In addition to Winnebago, ElderCare locally has facilities in Truman and Mapleton.

Parker Oaks has 52 beds and 27 assisted-living apartments.

The Register was unable to contact Birchem for comment.

Meanwhile, St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center has not closed the door on the possible acquisition of Parkview.

“We’re still interested. We have not officially crossed it off our list,” says Gene Nelson, administrator at St. Luke’s.In February, the Blue Earth long-term facility cited expansion into eastern Faribault County as a reason for wanting to locate in Wells.

Nelson also said the nursing home’s good reputation would make the addition to St. Luke’s a good fit.

Ehn says ‘parties of interest’ continue to have talks with Parkview.

“We want to make sure it is an organization whose core business is long-term care. That is important to us,” he says.

Parkview is part of the Albert Lea Medical Center, which is owned by Mayo Health System.

Its website states the facility offers temporary and long-term care and physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy. Also, Albert Lea Medical Center provides outreach services that include podiatry, social services, psychological care, specialized diets and respite care.