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Published January 24, 2013, 08:40 AM

Alzheimer’s care facility planned for Killdeer, ND

KILLDEER, N.D. — If things go according to plan over the next two years, Killdeer could be home to an Alzheimer’s care facility.

By: Bryan Horwath, Forum News Service

KILLDEER, N.D. — If things go according to plan over the next two years, Killdeer could be home to an Alzheimer’s care facility.

The news came Wednesday as part of a long-term vision of Health Management Systems after the company announced an agreement to take over management of the Hill Top Home of Comfort nursing home, which, according to City Auditor Dawn Marquardt is the second-largest employer in the Killdeer behind only Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing.

“HMS offers years of experience and a network of expertise in the management business,” said Alan O’Neil, the company’s chief operating officer. “HMS will bring significant experience and expertise to the facility and will immediately resume the recruitment of a full-time administrator.”

O’Neil said there are no immediate plans to make changes to the HTHC staff, though he said the company always strives to find “cost efficient ways of doing business” with the facilities it manages.

“Residents and staff aren’t going to notice much of a difference,” O’Neil said. “They’re going to see a few new faces, but that’s about it.

“What we can provide is a depth of understanding and administration experience and we look forward to working with everybody in the community,” he added.

HTHC interim director Fred Stapleton, who was put in place by HMS after the departure of longtime facility director Greg Armitage, said the nursing home employs 75 people and, as of Wednesday, had 42 spots filled in the 50-bed facility.

HMS President Joe Rude said there are plans to expand the complex in the next “24 months” and said such an expansion would likely include a wing specifically for the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

“That’s something that we’re in the initial stages of planning for the future, but, right now, we’re just excited to come in and be a part of the Killdeer community,” Rude said. “Our first priority right now is, as it always is, to provide the best possible care we can for our residents.”

O’Neil said Stapleton — who is handling day-to-day operations until a permanent replacement is hired — and a small number of consultants have been at the facility the past week.

In addition to nursing home facility operations, HTHC also provides home health care options. Based in Billings, Mont., HMS also owns the Richardton Health Center and operates facilities in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

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