Carson Tahoe memory care facility part of growth plan |

Carson Tahoe memory care facility part of growth plan

Rob Sabo
A model home at Turquoise Ridge, a new subdivision in Battle Mountain being developed by Elko builder Arnold Beck Construction.
Courtesy Lander County |

Development of a 40-unit memory care facility near the old Carson Tahoe Hospital on Fleischmann Way is another significant step in development of the hospital’s strategic plan, the hospital’s top executive says.

Last week, Carson Tahoe and Prestige Care, Inc., and Prestige Senior Living L.L.C. of Portland, Ore. announced plans to construct a senior living center that will provide memory care and skilled nursing rehabilitation care for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Construction is expected to begin later this year and take about 12 months to complete. Carson Tahoe will provide land and a portion of funding for the project and will be a minority partner in the venture, says Ed Epperson president and chief executive officer of Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.

The goal of adding a long-term memory care facility to the hospital’s service lineup dates all back to 2007. Executives at Carson Tahoe had settled in to the newly constructed hospital at the south end of town, and they had to formulate a plan for repurposing the old hospital on Fleischmann Way and some adjacent medical office buildings.

“It quickly became clear to everybody that it made sense that we were going to reuse the old hospital building specifically for undefined grouping of extended levels of care,” Epperson says. “We were building a state-of-the-art acute care center, and we were leaving a perfectly good building that should be used for various levels of care that are post acute.”

While the former hospital has since been reused for outpatient diagnostics and other services, including support for the organization’s marketing, development and finance groups, the old 120,000-square-foot medical office complex on roughly four acres was razed to make way for future development.

Over the past few years, Epperson says, executives at Carson Tahoe Health met with companies that specialize in long-term memory care support, but everything fell into place when they toured Prestige’s corporate offices and facilities in Portland, Ore.

“We were extremely impressed with the quality of services they provide, and we felt very good about the integrity an quality of the company,” Epperson says. “It is a good fit for our specialty medical campus, and at times we have patients who are looking for that level of care. It can be difficult to find.

“We are building this development as a partner, so we are expecting a return,” he adds.

Prestige Senior Living will manage the facility, but Carson Tahoe may have a role in providing a range of services to the new center, Epperson says. The new memory care unit will offer Prestige’s Expressions memory-care program coupled with clinical expertise from Carson Tahoe staff.

Providing a dedicated memory care facility to patients at Carson Tahoe also was needed to safely release patients from the main hospital, Epperson adds.

“We are required to provide safe discharge to patients, and until that is set to go we don’t discharge them. There are times when those niche levels of care are what’s needed for safe discharge.”

The announcement comes on the heels of an affiliation between Carson Tahoe Health and University of Utah Health Care that was announced in early January. Epperson says Carson Tahoe Health’s board is vigilant about adhering to the organization’s strategic plan.

“This organization, and the board I work for is very focused on the future,” he says. “They are very cognizant of the need to have a strategic plan and to pursue it to get excellent partners where needed. This didn’t just fall into our lap.”