Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Villa's care focus will change


The Mission at Castle Rock Convalescent Center will see some changes in the near future. Planning and preparation for the Villa portion of the center to be converted into an assisted living facility is underway.

Two years ago when Mission took over the Villa and Castle Rock Convalescent Center, Mission’s goal for the facility was to do what they could to make the center a viable option for the community and Mission still intends to do that, President and CEO of Mission, Gary Kelso said.

At the time Mission stepped in two years ago, there weren’t enough residents residing at the Villa to support financially for an extended period of time. The Villa lost about 60 percent of their residents due to the residents increasing need for more medical care than the Villa could provide. The Villa is deemed a board-and-care facility, which is a step above providing a standard apartment; the facility provides some care but no medical care or the level of care which is provided at an assisted-living facility or a convalescent center. Mission has been losing about $10,000 a month. About $250,000 was lost in one year alone.

Another large concern of Mission’s is its current residents. Kelso said he has been talking with the residents about plans and concerns about the changes along the way, five at a time. The residents are a big concern, Kelso said. It’s something Mission is not taking lightly, he said.

“We lost of lot of money doing it, but we kept the Villa open for two years,” Kelso said. “Along all of this, we’ve worked very hard to work with the residents. We’ve done this with the residents’ best interest in mind.”

Kelso believes converting the Villa into an assisted-living facility will be a viable option for the community and the residents. The facility as an assisted living will be able to provide for the evolving medical needs of its residents, meaning residents won’t have to relocate far to a higher level of care facility. Residents can stay within the community and age in place, he said.

“As residents age, their level of needs increase. We could not care for them any longer with our license, but now they could stay there as long as need be,” Kelso said. “Transitions of care, it just kind of makes sense.”

Mission is going through the Wyoming Department of Health now, to make the change in licensing for a higher care facility. Once architectural plans are completed and submitted to the state for review, Mission will have a better idea of what the project time line will be. Construction cost for converting the facility to an assisted living is estimated up to $200,000 in renovations. Because the facility will be in the already existing building, without the cost of a brand-new building, Mission will be able to provide the same quality of care at a lower-cost alternative to Deer Trail in rock Springs.

“It’s the right thing to do in the long run,” he said.


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