In March, the Masonic Homes of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania signed a purchase agreement with the Valley Care Association for the acquisition of the Valley Care Nursing Home in Sewickley and its 47 acres of property. On June 1, the 128-bed Medicare / Medicaid - certified facility became a part of the continuum of care provided by the Masonic Homes.
Officials from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, the Grand Chapter of Eastern Star, and the Masonic Homes joined officials from the Valley Care Association and the Valley Care Nursing Home to celebrate the transaction on June 1, at Sewickley. Joining together to unveil a sign revealing the new name of the home was: R.W. Grand Master James L. Ernette; M.W. Grand Master Lawrence E. Harris, Prince Hall Grand Lodge; Associate Grand Matron Jean D. Fey and Associate Grand Patron H. Lin Jones of the Order of the Eastern Star; Bro. Joseph E. Murphy, CEO; William C. Davis, Jr, COO, and Mrs. B. J. Franks, Executive Director of the Valley Care Masonic Center, all of the Masonic Homes; James Alexander, President of the Valley Care Association; members of both boards of directors; and President of Valley Care Masonic Center's Resident Council, Louise Rollin. Susan Laughlin of the 16th Legislative District also attended.
R.W. Grand Master James L. Ernette said, "We are excited to work with Valley Care Association as a 'Partner for Progress' serving the Sewickley area."
According to Bro. Murphy the Masonic Homes' search to purchase a nursing home offering services with Medicaid certification in the Pittsburgh area began when it was determined that the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare would not grant Medicaid certification for additional nursing beds in Allegheny County, which affected the Masonic Eastern Star Home-West in Pittsburgh. Since Valley Care Nursing Home is located within eight miles of the Masonic Eastern Star Home-West and shares the Masonic Homes' values and mission, Bro. Murphy said that the Masonic Homes found Valley Care Nursing Home to be an alternate means of providing quality, cost-effective nursing services for members in the western part of the state.
Based on the Masonic Homes' recent market demand analysis and market study of local Masons and residents of the Sewickley community, the Committee on Masonic Homes has decided to move forward with plans to develop assisted living accommodations, and to design and market independent living accommodations at Valley Care Masonic Center. The final decision to build the independent living accommodations will depend on pre-sales of the units. These plans are contingent upon approvals from the appropriate county and township authorities.
The independent living and assisted living units of the project will be open to Masons, Eastern Star members, and the Sewickley community. The existing nursing component will be filled internally with independent living and assisted living residents moving through the continuum of care, and direct admissions by the existing Masonic Homes' admissions policy.
Those interested in having their names on an information or priority list for assisted living at the Sewickley site should call (412) 741-1400 or write to: Mrs. B. J. Franks, Executive Director, Valley Care Masonic Center, 1190 Merriman Road, Sewickley, PA 15143. Anyone interested in having their names on an information or priority list for independent living should call 1-800-676-6452 or write to: Don Romberger, Marketing Manager, Masonic Homes, One Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
Current residents at the Masonic Eastern Star Home-West receiving nursing care will be given priority to transfer to Valley Care Masonic Center, or may choose to remain at the Masonic Eastern Star Home-West. Residents will continue to receive assisted living services