Rainycrest officially part of Riverside

An agreement to amalgamate Rainycrest Home for the Aged with Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. has been finalized, Riverside announced Friday.
“Rainycrest is now officially part of the Riverside Corporation,” Riverside CEO Wayne Woods said in a press release.
“I look forward to working with all staff and management to enhance the service delivery for our long-term care patients,” he added.
As a result, Rainycrest will see some changes over the next year based on promises from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care—contingent on the success of the deal—including the addition of 21 new beds and an infusion of capital grants totalling $1.35 million.
Woods said the beds would be added to the home within a year.
“It’s not going to be an overnight thing,” he stressed yesterday. “We’ll be working with [the ministry] trying to get them in as soon as possible.”
Some renovations will need to be done before the new beds can be added and new residents admitted.
In a September memo to district municipalities, R. Scott Rowand, chair of the amalgamation steering committee and a consultant hired by the ministry to help mediate discussions, noted Rainycrest requires extensive capital improvements.
“The facilities assessment conducted by a team of architects and engineers identified urgent health and safety issues requiring immediate resolution with cost estimates totalling close to $1.5 million,” Rowand wrote.
Some of those urgent issues will have to be dealt with before more beds can be added, Woods explained.
One of the major projects includes work on the water drainage system under the building, which may have to wait until the spring when the ground thaws, he said.
The assessment also identified “over $3 million of other needed improvements that must be addressed over time related to electrical, mechanical, structural, and fire safety concerns,” Rowand added.
The ministry had taken control of the home from its board of management back on March 18, 2005 and appointed Riverside as the interim administrator.
The move was a result of compliance issues at the home and the lack of an administrator. In the 19 months since Riverside took over the home, compliance issues have been resolved.
“We haven’t had any issues at all since September of ’05,” Woods said.
“The ministry was in for a compliance inspection last week,” he added, with no problems identified.
Riverside said staff and management across both organizations have been working very hard to address the compliance issues at Rainycrest.
They also have been busy working to merge human resources, accounting, and administration policies and procedures.
“It’s been a long two years, however I am extremely proud of the staff for their hard work, patience and dedication during this time of transition,” Woods said.
“Riverside’s board, management, and staff will continue to work hard to ensure Rainycrest is effectively managed with first-class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment,” he added.
The deal, announced in September and initially slated to close Oct. 18, makes Riverside permanently responsible for the management of Rainycrest, whose building and property were sold to Riverside for $1.
The agreement also calls for nine of the 10 district municipalities to continue supporting Rainycrest with an annual funding contribution beginning with 2006 levels, and decreasing by 10 percent each year until it is phased out entirely by 2017.
Atikokan is the exception. That municipality instead is putting its annual Rainycrest contribution—about $200,000—towards long-term care programs at Atikokan General Hospital.
Funding for Rainycrest came from three sources: municipal contributions, resident fees, and the province.
In 2006, municipal contributions accounted for about $1.2 million of the home’s $9 million budget.
All 10 district municipalities passed motions accepting the deal when it was released in September.
At that time, there were nearly 100 people on the waiting list for admission to the home.
The agreement also leaves open the possibility of establishing some type of assisted living facility or rest home for people who no longer can live at home but who do not need the 24-hour care provided at a long-term care facility.