Snowhill Health Care to Operate, Take Ownership of Lakeside

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An agreement between Benedictine Health System which runs Lakeside Health, Extendicare Homes which owns the building, and Snowhill Health Care, which will be the new owner-operator, finalized the arrangement.

Snowhill is the parent company of Dove Healthcare and the Rutledge Home, and once they take over next month, they'll expand the ventilator unit which currently houses 10 Lakeside residents.

Their plan is to take on 48.

Benedictine officials say their doctors had been pushing that idea as well, but now a government-funded pilot project is expected to keep the number of ventilator patients growing by 10 every six months for the next two years.

"When that pilot project funding got approved and the concept for change of use was well established," said Snowhill C.E.O. Jim Deignan, "That's when everything else completed itself very quickly."

"The details of the transaction on the financial end of it had very little influence on this deal coming together," said Extendicare C.E.O. Phil Small.

Right now, Lakeside Health employs 230 people.

Snowhill officials say they'll be looking into filling the positions they have available with people working there already, but aren't making any guarantees.

They couldn't say an exact number of staffers they'll keep, but assuming they fill 100 beds, they'd ballpark it at 150 or 200.

Once the ownership transfer is said and done, the facility will be re-named Wisssota Health and Regional Vent Center, though this won't affect the Wissota Springs assisted living facility right next door.

That's still owned by Extendicare.

Within the next 10 days, Snowhill officials plan to meet with current employees, residents, and their families to get them up to speed on the change in ownership, and the facility's directon for the future.