Crossing Rivers to close Assisted Living, Family Resource Center

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Crossing Rivers Health Assisted Living, on Beaumont Road in Prairie du Chien, will soon close its doors, as assisted living, home care and personal home services and the Family Resource Center have been discontinued by the organization.

The Crossing Rivers Health Family Resource Center on Taylor Street is closing as part of the recent administrative and board of directors decision. The center’s few employees are among 36 impacted throughout Crossing Rivers as a result, though 16 will keep positions elsewhere within the organization. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Crossing Rivers Health’s administration and Board of Directors have announced the decision to discontinue the organization’s assisted living services, closing what is formerly known as Walter Schmidt Assisted Living in Prairie du Chien. With this, home health and personal home services, in addition to the Family Resource Center, will be discontinued as well.

“These decisions would not have been made without certainty that our communities’ needs will continue to be met,” explained Bill Sexton, Crossing Rivers Health chief executive officer. “We came to this conclusion after an in-depth review of our services and departments, the needs of the region and the organization’s mission and strategic direction. Although extremely difficult, Crossing Rivers Health remains confident these actions will ensure continued financial strength and help us to secure our future as the health care provider of choice for the region.

“Our primary goal is to ensure a smooth and positive transition for the residents, patients and employees of these services.”

It is anticipated that the assisted living facility will close by Aug. 31, but not until every single resident has been successfully relocated. 

“The assisted living facility has served our residents well for the past 31 years, but it is a two-story facility that is in need of numerous upgrades,” Sexton said. “Through this time of change, Crossing Rivers is committed to ensuring the assisted living residents a smooth transition to their new homes.” 

Staff is working closely with the Department of Health Services through this process, he noted. An individualized resident relocation plan will be developed with input from each of the residents, their families and support networks. 

Crossing Rivers Health was established in 1957 as Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, with a staff of 29 people. Of the now 350 employees, 36 are impacted by these organizational changes: 16 employees have been reassigned positions through Crossing Rivers, though 20 will be eliminated. 

“We pride ourselves on having the best, most compassionate staff,” Sexton said. “We are committed to our valued employees who are affected and have made every effort to minimize the burden resulting from these decisions. Each of the affected employees is eligible to receive a severance and benefits package, determined by years of service to the organization.” 

To align with industry trends, Crossing Rivers will work to address the home health and personal home service needs of area residents through their primary care clinics and outpatient services. As a result of the discontinued home health and personal home services, a restructure of the hospice program is necessary as well.

“We will confidently transition home health and personal home services patients into the capable and caring hands of other area agencies,” explained Sexton. “Furthermore, hospice patients and their loved ones will not see any change in service or interruption in care as a result of the restructure. 

“In addition, Crossing Rivers Health is committed to providing support services to area families and will work to transition the vital programs of the Family Resource Center through collaboration with area agencies.”

Crossing Rivers hopes to continue to facilitate a number of these programs through its education department, while reaching out to other community organizations to discuss the possibility of finding new homes for some of them.

The Family Resource Center was established in 1990 through grant funding from the Children’s Trust Fund. Once fully funded through grant dollars that depleted in 2008, the services of the Family Resource Center have continued to be funded primarily by Crossing Rivers. 

“The community can rest assured that the Crossing Rivers Health Childcare Center (formerly Wee Care), housed in the same building as the assisted living facility, will remain in operation,” the CEO assured. “We know quality childcare is important to our community. In the future, we’ll be sharing plans to relocate child care to the medical center campus.”

Crossing Rivers Health is a not-for-profit organization, which exists to serve the greater good, according to Sexton. 

“Strong financial performance is key to ensuring our future, and assuring that we’re able to reinvest in necessary programs, facility and equipment upgrades and other capital needs,” he added.

A recent financial audit conducted by independent CPA firm, Eide Bailly confirmed Crossing Rivers remains a financially-sound organization. Where a financial strength index score of 3.0 is considered “excellent,” Crossing Rivers achieved a score of 4.21 in 2017. 

“Some rural hospitals are facing the sad reality of cutting services due to financial difficulty, or closing their doors altogether,” stated Katie Garrity, Crossing Rivers Health Board Chair. “We will continue to be innovative and adapt to the health care trends and the needs of the region we serve. Being adaptive sometimes also means making difficult, yet necessary, decisions such as these.” 

Crossing Rivers Health leadership and Board of Directors have assessed the health and wellness needs of the region and are confident the assisted living and home health needs will continue to be met. In the case of assisted living services, Crossing Rivers has made a major investment to address the need for a new nursing home and assisted living facility in Prairie du Chien. From 1998-2008, Crossing Rivers Health (then Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital) gifted $18 million to Community Health Services Corporation. The result of that gift is the Bluff Haven and Prairie Maison facility. 

Crossing Rivers currently provides more than 100 services to the region, including primary care clinics, specialty services, surgery, medical imaging, rehabilitation, emergency and urgent care. The organization has made major investments in a new medical center, robotic surgical equipment, a number of outpatient specialty providers and a robust new electronic health record.

“The ongoing implementation of strategic plans will allow us to continue to take important steps and pursue additional growth opportunities that will ultimately lead to an even brighter future for our organization," Sexton stated. 

Questions or comments are welcome and may be directed to Sexton at (608) 357-2236, or by email at communications@crossingrivers.org.

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