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Glen Valley under new ownership

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A new health care operator owns the Glen Valley Care Center and now operates it under the name Grace Healthcare of Glenwood Springs.Grace Healthcare of Tennessee has operated the facility since September 2006. Grace purchased the property from Peter Madigan on July 1.Regional Director of Operations Clint Davis said the deal was for a package of three Colorado facilities including the Paonia Care and Rehabilitation Center and the Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford.”Grace Healthcare is growing as an organization,” he said. “We felt like Colorado is a good state to be in the health care business.”Making improvements and rebuilding previously compromised relationships with physicians and vendors is part of the game plan. Davis said Grace increased wages at the facility and installed quality management. Administrator Rick Colby said he has more than 20 years of nursing administration experience, and that a nursing director at the facility also has more than 20 years of experience. The facility has already undergone physical upgrades to its fire sprinkler system, fire alarm system and water heating system, and made other equipment purchases, Davis said. He estimated more than $350,000 has been spent this year on the property so far and said more improvements are scheduled for the future.Colby said Grace has a vested interest in improving the facility since it now is both the owner and operator. Colby moved from Iowa, where he’s lived all his life, to take the administrator job at Grace Healthcare of Glenwood Springs.”One of the things I heard from the physicians is that Glenwood Springs needs a health care facility,” Colby said.Grace operates 23 facilities in Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Michigan.A previous operator, under the names Health Prime and AltaCare Corp., has been accused of leaving some vendors hanging with outstanding bills.A civil complaint filed in June by Advanced Pharmacy Services of Grand Junction claimed AltaCare and the man behind it, Douglas K. Mittleider, failed to pay a $24,768 bill for pharmacy and consulting services since October 2005. Fred Stapleton of Advanced Pharmacy Services stressed that the claim has nothing to do with Grace Healthcare and said Grace has improved things at the facility since it arrived.In another complaint filed in March, SOS Nursing Services was awarded a judgment by default for a $20,350 bill plus 18 percent per year interest for lack of a timely reply. But AltaCare denied that it was responsible for the bills. The complaint says either the Glen Valley Care Center Corp. or its current or former operator failed to pay the bill for services provided from July to Aug. 29, 2006.Glenwood Springs attorney Walter Brown said Grace Healthcare paid an outstanding debt that the previous operator had incurred at the Cedar Lodge.Davis said Grace Healthcare has paid some of the previous operator’s debts to local vendors as an act of good faith.On top of the alleged unpaid bills by the previous operator, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in July by Randy Sawyer on behalf of the deceased Audrey Knutson. It names the Glen Valley Care and Rehabilitation Center Corp., Life Care Centers of America Inc., Heritage Park Care Center and Colorado Medical Investors LLC.It claims both the centers as well as the providers named were negligent and failed to provide an adequate standard of care beginning in 2005, leading to Knutson’s death.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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