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Health system makes more cuts in Richmond

Michael Schwartz November 14, 2016 0

The Petersburg PACE location closed in 2015. (Coutesy Riverside PACE)

The Petersburg PACE location closed in 2015. (Coutesy Riverside PACE)

As it continues to try to gain traction in the Richmond market, a Hampton Roads-based health system is further consolidating its local operations.

Riverside Health System plans to shutter its Riverside PACE location at 701 Gordon Ave. in Manchester on Feb. 3. The closure will result in the elimination of 37 jobs and will leave the organization with only one remaining facility in the Richmond market, at 1300 MacTavish Ave. in Scott’s Addition.

“We’re not stopping any service,” said Riverside spokesperson Peter Glagola. “We’re just consolidating.”

The PACE program functions as an alternative to nursing homes by offering elderly participants assisted living services that allow them to continue to live in their own homes.

Glagola said the closure of the Manchester facility is a continuation of cuts the company made in the area last year, when it shut down its Petersburg PACE facility.

“It’s a business decision,” Glagola said. “We had some financial losses running multiple facilities.”

The only remaining Riverside PACE facility in the Richmond market, at 1300 MacTavish Ave. in Scott's Addition.

The only remaining Riverside PACE facility in the Richmond market, at 1300 MacTavish Ave. in Scott’s Addition.

He said the PACE program has struggled to turn a profit in the Richmond market. Riverside has seen a loss from its Richmond operations of about $2 million over the last year, Glagola said.

PACE currently has 237 participants in the Richmond market. Participants must be 55 years or older and eligible for nursing homes. It offers them transportation to and from the facility, social work, physical therapy, dietary services and socialization.

Riverside PACE opened in Richmond in 2009 with the Manchester facility. The Scott’s Addition location opened two years later.

Glagola said part of Riverside’s struggles in Richmond is related to lack of brand awareness in a market dominated by Bon Secours, HCA and VCU Health.

He said PACE has done well with its Charlottesville facility, which operates as a partnership with UVA and Jefferson Area Board for Aging. He said a similar structure in Richmond might help it succeed here.

“We need to find stronger partners to make this better,” Glagola said.

In addition to PACE, the nonprofit health system operates several hospitals and other facilities around the Peninsula. It has two addition PACE locations on the Peninsula, one of which will also be consolidated in February, resulting in 96 layoffs.

Glagola said the organization has a lease on the Manchester building that runs through 2020. He said Riverside will look to sublet it.

As for the 37 Manchester employees, Glagola said Riverside will work to help them find jobs elsewhere in the organization or with other healthcare facilities in Richmond.

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