Groundbreaking held for Hearthstone expansion

YORK – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday morning to celebrate the start of a major renovation/expansion project being undertaken by York General Health Care Services which will enhance the community’s elder offerings for years to come.

The ceremony this week is to mark the start of Phase 1, which will entail renovation of residential rooms and expansion at the Hearthstone.

Jim Ulrich, CEO of YGHCS, welcomed the large crowd, noting the theme of this ongoing effort is “A Better Future for Elder Care in our Community.”

“Our vision is to be our region’s trusted choice for the improvement of health and deliver of quality care throughout life. To be a trusted choice, an organization has to provide excellent quality care. I believe we do that and the Hearthstone, being 5-star rated for quality, is a result that reflects this care. Secondly,” Ulrich continued, “we need to be there, to meet the care needs of the future. Overall, at York General, we strive to achieve this and it is a constant effort with lots of planning and strategic and operational decisions along thew ay. This project will do very well to answer these future needs and demands in long term care.

“Throughout life refers to the continuum of care and also our dedication to local access to care,” Ulrich said further. “The long-term care sector of York general’s overall health services consist of the Hearthstone and Willow Brook, which will be covered by this multiple-phase long-term care project. This groundbreaking is for the Hearthstone phase of this overall project. As our campaign title says, we are confident we are building and renovating our facilities to enable a better future for elder care in our community.”

Jay Colburn, vice-president of long-term care services, addressed the crowd, noting “the Hearthstone is a very nice building and it’s about to become even better with expanded services and enhanced physical spaces created to make our facility easier to access and life more enjoyable.”

He said over the next 12 months, they will build nine new private residential rooms, completely reimagine their country kitchen with larger parlors for families to enjoy meals with their loved ones, build a new activity space with a large covered porch serving both the current memory support unit and the newly added memory support unit, and they will refresh all the common areas in resident living areas.

“We will also be working through renovating our resident rooms in the facility,” Colburn said. “When the project is all said and done, over 80% of our rooms will be private with enhanced memory support services for our community and dining spaces that are comfortable for our residents and their loved ones. When fully executed, the Hearthstone’s footprint will grow a bit, but really the quality of life enhancements for residents, staff and visitors will shine.”

Co-chairmen of the capital campaign, Chuck and Karen Harris, were on hand as well. Ulrich explained how Chuck Harris serves as the president of the York Board, and privately he and Karen have been ongoing supporters of York General and the York community.

Harris noted the growing percentage of those over 65 in the York County population (20% of 14,000) and how this trend brings a great need for different options in elder care.

“This is the start of something special,” Harris said, noting $1.2 million in pledges have already been come in, toward the $2 million being sought in donations. “We will add years to the lives of our elders and life to those years.”

Samson Construction is the official contractor for the project; RDG is the architectural firm; and York General’s Tom Ehlers is the project manager.

When Phase 1 at the Hearthstone is completed, Phase 2 at Willow Brook will take place. The Willow Brook project will include the construction of 16 assisted living apartments, the construction of 10 new independent living apartments, new dining and recreation spaces for active elders.

The project cost for the first two phases is $19.7 million. Information from York General says the funds can be generated utilizing reserve funds that have been earned from current and past operations and invested. A portion would also be generated through new debt financing that would be retired over time with revenues from the expanded operations. The balance of investment needed would be generated from the donations by community partners.

Joining Ulrich, Chuck and Karen Harris, Colburn, contractors, the architect and project manager for the official shovel moment were members of the York General Board.

Watch video from the groundbreaking HERE

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