Retirement Campus Doing Well In Economic Times

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Harvey Pelovsky

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Rim Country Health and Retirement Community offers independent living apartments, DaVita Dialysis, physical therapy, behavior management, dementia and specialty care.

Even in this economic recession, Rim Country Health and Retirement Community has completed a remarkable turnaround, reporting a 160 percent revenue increase in just the last three years.

Rim Country Health and Retirement Community could not always boast multi-million-dollar revenue and a staff of 134. Several years ago, the center’s facilities were deteriorating, with more empty beds than residents and only minimal services. But with a change in name, management and ownership, the campus has turned around, offering rehabilitation, dialysis and behavior management services.

Administrator Harvey Pelovsky took over the campus in December 2004 in what he says was a dysfunctional state. The campus had 58 employees and an annual payroll of $1.85 million. Today there are 134 employees, 102 residents, an annual payroll of $4.27 million. Revenue has increased 160 percent to $7.42 million.

“We have become a major contributor to the economy,” Pelovsky said.

Turning around retirement communities was nothing new for Pelovsky, who has worked at assisted living and nursing homes across the state for 25 years. He also operated his own consulting health care business.

“When I came, the apartments were half empty and the building was in poor repair,” Pelovsky said. “If there was a leak in a room for example they would close up the room.”

In 2004, of the 109 certified beds available, only 30 percent were occupied.

“So 70 percent were empty beds and I had to figure out why they were not full,” he said. “Customers had a bad idea about the place because the ownership was distant and the administrator was not living here.”

Pelovsky decided he needed to move to Payson permanently to turn the campus around. With a new administrator at the helm, the campus also needed a new name to reflect its new regional direction. The campus changed from Manzanita Manor to Rim Country Health and Retirement Community and in October of 2007, Pelovsky, along with three partners, formed Diamond Care and bought Rim Country Health from Payson Premier Health, completing years of change.

“Many companies will come into a community and be stationed a long way from here and don’t really put a personal investment in the community,” Pelovsky said. “We bought it to keep it, run it, fix it and stay in business.”

Today, the campus has independent living apartments separate from the main complex and a DaVita Dialysis center. The main center has several wings devoted to the needs of residents. The Pine Place wing is for residents needing behavior management in a secure setting. The Pony Express wing is for dementia and Alzheimer’s and the third wing is for long-term residents needing nursing care. Residents needing short-term care and rehabilitation including physical, occupational and speech therapy can use facilities in a separate area.

Pelovsky said the region faced a service gap for behavioral and specialty care before Rim Country opened.

“I don’t think there was a recognition of what these people were going through,” he said. “Now we have people come from all over the state for these services.”

Since 2005, the campus has passed all state inspections and recently received three stars on Medicare’s five-star rating system. The system determines a score based on health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

Diamond Care plans to begin construction on two new facilities in Casa Grande in March and Pinetop in May.

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