Hospital officials don’t want to lay off employees or move patients at Valley Meadows |

Hospital officials don’t want to lay off employees or move patients at Valley Meadows

by Sharon Carter

At this point, Carson-Tahoe Hospital is not going to terminate employees or transfer patients from Valley Meadows Rehab and Sub-Acute Care Center, C-TH administrator Steve Smith said Monday.

Smith said he will know more about the future of the 110-bed Gardnerville Ranchos nursing home when hospital officials meet Thursday.

“Our commitment to operate the care center ends June 30, but our attorney is working with the property owners to allow them to continue to operate it with the current staff after that date,” Smith said.

David Pumphrey, a managing partner of the nursing home’s landlord, PDQ Investments, said Monday he had met with potential purchasers of the 39,000 square-foot building and 4.8-acre property and of the nursing home operations.

“We have no final decisions or signed agreements as yet, but I came away feeling it was a positive meeting,” Pumphrey said. “We’re also meeting with another potential operator this week.”

Pumphrey, a former Douglas County commissioner, repeated earlier assurances that the nursing home would stay open.

“Ideally, I’d like to have a bigger operator running the place,” he said. “But, we have the best administrator and staff around, so no matter what happens, we’ll stay open.”

Pumphrey and Smith were addressing concerns raised when C-TH trustees directed Smith to make preparations to cut the Carson City-owned hospital system’s losses in the Carson Valley. In particular, Smith was directed to develop a strategy and time-line to remove C-TH from Valley Meadows, formerly known as the Cottonwood Care Center.

Recent losses at Valley Meadows have reportedly approached $60,000 per month.

The public hospital system purchased the nursing home operation four years ago and in 1997, sublet it.

In October 1998, the Arizona-based operators, primarily Premier Care Health Services, allegedly defaulted and C-TH petitioned for a receiver, current Valley Meadows administrator James Heinzen, to be appointed by Carson City District Judge Michael Fondi. Fondi appointed Heinzen, who has continued to operate the nursing home under the hospital’s lease while legal issues between the hospital and Premier and its partners are being settled.

Hospital officials are scheduled to discuss and possibly act on the future operation and disposal of Valley Meadows at the Thursday meeting.

The board will also discuss and act upon several lease agreements which, when realized, would fill 90 percent of the Minden Medical Center, leaving only spaces set aside for a pharmacy and a small restaurant left to be let.

In particular, the board is scheduled to:

n Discuss and act upon a lease agreement with High Desert Therapy of Minden to add a “wellness fitness” center to the Minden Medical Center.

n Discuss and act upon a consultant contract to evaluate potential cancer center and in-patient adolescent psychiatry programs at C-TH.

n Discuss and act on a proposal to contract for neurology services.

n Formalize a contract with Dr. Thomas D. Merry to establish a primary care practice in the Minden Medical Center.

n Lease space to doctors David Johnson, Gerald Cottrell, Andrea Weed and B Bottenberg at the Minden Medical Center.

n Formalize a 6-month contract extension with Dr. Mark Brune for management of the Minden Urgent Care clinic at the Minden Medical Center.