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Friendship Retirement Community plans to move 120 beds to a facility on Starkey Road.
Courtesy of Friendship Retirement Community
An artist’s rendering shows the proposed nursing home.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A proposed nursing home in Southwest Roanoke County has received final approval from state health regulators.
In a written decision released Tuesday, Virginia Health Commissioner Cynthia Romero determined there is a public need for a 120-bed nursing home on Starkey Road to be built and operated by Friendship Retirement Community.
Friendship plans to move 120 beds from its 373-bed rehabilitation facility on Hershberger Road to the new location, placing residents closer to their homes and families in Southwest Roanoke County while allowing more room and privacy for those who will remain at Hershberger.
“The proposed relocation would improve the distribution of nursing home beds and their accessibility in the Roanoke area,” Romero wrote in her decision.
In recent years, Friendship has served a growing number of residents who live in the Southwest Roanoke County and Salem region, said Russ Barksdale , president and CEO of the retirement community.
The goal is to make those residents more comfortable by placing them in a short-term care setting closer to where they shop, bank and socialize. The average stay for a resident at the Starkey Road home will be two to four weeks, Barksdale said.
Unlike a traditional nursing home, the facility will focus on short-term rehabilitation for patients who have been hospitalized for things such as joint replacements, strokes or respiratory problems.
When a health care provider proposes a major expansion or new project, the state health department in certain cases must first determine if there is a public need. The process covers facilities that receive public dollars and is aimed at containing health care costs.
Friendship officials have said earlier that the relocation would not affect the company’s overall market share in the area.
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors already has approved a rezoning and special use permit for a 10-acre parcel at 5647 Starkey Road.
The authorized cost of the new home is $16.7 million, according to the commissioner’s decision. Purchasing the land and developing the site could push total costs to between $18 and $20 million.
Construction will begin within three to four months, Barksdale said, and is expected to be completed by March 2015.
Meanwhile, Friendship is also planning a new building on its Hershberger Road campus that will be the fourth stage of Wellington Apartments, an independent living facility. The three-story building, which will house 34 apartments, is slated to open by next spring or summer.
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