The St. Luke Family of Caring (an affiliation of St. Luke Health Services, Bishop’s Commons and St.
Francis Commons in Oswego) along with Community Wellness Partners (an affiliation of LutheranCare in Clinton and Presbyterian Homes & Services in New Hartford) has announced an intent to affiliate.
Together, the multi-campus, multi-level service providers plan to fully affiliate once the legal components of the agreement have been completed, which are anticipated to happen within the next few months.
This affiliation will continue to honor and uphold the tradition of both organizations with no disruption in day-to-day operations. Changes will be focused mainly in the areas of strategy, operations and finance.
Catherine Gill, St. Luke CEO and administrator will be retiring on June 30.
Jeremy Rutter, president and CEO of Community Wellness Partners will expand his role to include CEO of The St. Luke Family of Caring affiliates.
Shelly Youngs, St. Luke’s current assistant administrator, will assume the role as administrator of St. Luke Health Services upon Gill’s retirement.
This partnership enables all organizations encompassed by this affiliation the opportunity to remain as nonprofit, community/faith-based organizations while laying the groundwork to grow and become stronger financially as they align their goals with the landscape of healthcare changes. It was designed to not only maintain the integrity of the organizations, but to improve the quality and clinical reach of senior care in Central New York.
“This new alliance of our nonprofit health care communities is committed to maintaining the integrity and community based services we have all collectively provided throughout the years. It is an honor to serve our communities and we intend to continue to grow as we meet the needs of those in our care,” said Rutter, speaking on behalf of the organizations.
Gill said she is pleased to have facilitated the next step in the evolution of the organization and is satisfied knowing that the community-based nonprofits, to which she has dedicated her 35-year career, will be left in good hands.
“This anticipated affiliation allows St. Luke the opportunity to remain nonprofit, which is so important to me and the community we serve. I have every confidence that Jeremy and our teams will be able to continue to deliver high quality care,” she said. “This avenue provides greater benefit to us rather than the alternative of for-profit. By aligning with CWP and their nonprofit senior care communities, we are able to re-invest back into our employees, operations and community. I believe this leads to better care for those we serve and a better environment in which to work for our team members.”
The continuum of services will include skilled nursing, licensed home health care, adult day care (medical and social), assisted living, adult home, enriched housing, palliative care, memory care, independent senior housing, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, empire state supportive housing and community-based services that support health and independence.
The St. Luke Board of Directors, together with the boards of Community Wellness Partners have been actively engaged in deliberate discussions for nearly a year, in an effort to ensure that the intent to affiliate best serves their respective communities, while furthering the mission of each.
St. Luke board of president Jerome Mirabito said, “We are keenly aware of the role St. Luke, Bishop’s Commons and St. Francis Commons have in the delivery of residential and healthcare services and are only taking this step because we are confident that an affiliation with Community Wellness Partners ensures the integrity of our services and furthers the viability of each, respectively.”
“Community Wellness Partners has a long history of providing high quality care to, primarily, elderly residents of Central New York, said board chairman Jay Williams. “We are very pleased to be moving forward with providing those services now in Oswego County through this anticipated affiliation with a respected and well-established partner in that community.”
Increasing financial pressures throughout the sector have led to the closure or sale of many of New York state’s nonprofit skilled nursing facilities over the past five years.
Presbyterian Homes & Services and LutheranCare were two organizations facing that. In an attempt to be proactive, they affiliated in 2016 and have shown great success through efficiencies.
“This model works. We have proven it works. We recognize that partnering allows us to share best practices and expertise across a broader provider-base leading to a healthcare delivery system that is both financially stable and transformative in nature. It also gives us the ability to invest in what matters most, and that is people,” said Rutter.
About the partners
Combining more than 150 years of service, Community Wellness Partners is a faith-based, 501(c) (3) nonprofit affiliation of LutheranCare and Presbyterian Homes & Services. This affiliation offers the most complete continuity of health and wellness services for older adults in Oneida County.
Community Wellness Partners employs nearly 600 employees who service more than 500 older adults each day throughout its continuum, which includes Home Care, Independent Living and Assisted Living, Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing and more.
The St. Luke Family of Caring is an affiliation of community-based, nonprofit, residential and healthcare organizations serving the Greater-Oswego County area since 1975. Affiliates include St. Luke Health Services, Bishop’s Commons Enriched Housing Residence and St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence located on their healthcare campus in the city of Oswego. Together they provide a continuum of residential options, care and services to more than 300 people daily and employ more than 400 people in the community.
Through this partnership, The St. Luke Family of Caring and Community Wellness Partner’s will be among the top 10 long-term care providers in New York state.