A Hampton Roads-based health system is shutting down its Petersburg facility due to a lack of growth and in an effort to focus on its remaining Richmond presence.
Riverside PACE, a long-term care program operated by Riverside Health System in Newport News, will close its 28,000-square-foot facility at 315 Brown St. in Petersburg by the end of April. The closure will lay off 67 workers.
Riverside PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) spokeswoman Caitlyn Worner said the program is designed to assist the elderly on a daily basis. PACE offers outpatient specialty health services and other support, like transportation and dietary planning, and helps clients who live in their own homes.
Last year, the Riverside PACE program experienced a collective financial loss of more than $5 million, of which the Petersburg location was responsible for $2.2 million, Worner said.
“In Petersburg particularly, we hadn’t seen the growth that we expected,” she said. “So we’ve been looking at how to better serve our participants, and looking at other, national models, and so this was the appropriate time to make these operational changes.”
Riverside has two other PACE locations in Richmond: in Scott’s Addition at 1300 MacTavish Ave. and in Manchester at 701 Gordon Ave.
The Manchester location serves about 140 participants, and the Scott’s Addition facility serves about 100. The Petersburg operation has about 67 people enrolled.
The health system spent roughly $5 million to open the Petersburg location in 2012.
PACE tried a marketing and outreach campaign in 2013, advertising its Petersburg services on radio and television and working with local agencies to make its presence known.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t see a lot of results from that, even though we invested a lot of time and resources into that effort,” Worner said.
The health system will also be rearranging services at its two Richmond locations.
The changes in Richmond will include devoting the Manchester location to day services; it was previously a full-service location. The Scott’s Addition facility will provide clinical services to the Richmond market, including a pharmacy.
The 67 participants at the Petersburg location are being encouraged to continue the program in Richmond, and transportation will be provided.
The 90 workers at the Manchester facility have been asked to reapply for their positions there. Worner said that many of the Manchester employees will hopefully be able to stay on in one of the PACE facilities, but it is too early to say how many employment opportunities will be available once all the changes take place.
The 67 employees working in Petersburg will be eligible for some of those positions at other PACE locations. The number of open jobs available may depend on how many Petersburg participants stick with the program.
Worner said the health system is also working with the Virginia Rapid Response Team to help those who are not rehired find employment.
Riverside still has time remaining on its Petersburg facility lease, which is owned by an entity called ADC III LLC. The health system is working with the city to see how the building can be used to continue benefiting the community, Worner said.
The PACE program has facilities in Charlottesville, Hampton and Newport News, along with the two Richmond locations.
The program provides a wide array of services to the individuals enrolled, including social work, physical therapy and dietary services. Participants must be 55 years or older and eligible for nursing homes.
Founded in 1915, Riverside Health System operates seven hospitals in Eastern Virginia. It opened its Richmond PACE facilities in the last few years.
Its decision to close the Petersburg operation and rearrange its services comes as the market in Richmond for assisted living and services to seniors is getting more competitive. Manorhouse Assisted Living is opening a new facility in Henrico County, as is Bickford Senior Living. And in Chesterfield, The Memory Center, Commonwealth Assisted Living, and HHHunt are all digging in to serve the aging demographic.