County OKs new timeline for infirmary takeover
Jeffrey Phillips wants to keep the peace at the county infirmary.
"There's no reason to rush through this and make a mistake," said Phillips, who is president of Citadel Holdings. "Or more important, to have residents and families upset because we didn't consider all the things that need to be taken care of."
Last Thursday, Leavenworth County Commissioners extended a planning and transition period, which began Oct. 4, through the end of December. This will allow Citadel Holdings, Overland Park, more time for planning a transition before Citadel takes over.
Phillips, owner of Citadel, plans to enter into a 15-year lease agreement with the county on the infirmary and to construct a new nursing facility on infirmary property.
Phillips said he had requested the extension.
"By the time we had meetings with everybody and were trying to get everyone organized, we were already into our 21st day of our 30 days, and it was pretty clear that we weren't going to be able to get everything accomplished," Phillips said.
The move is expected to save the county money. As of Nov. 13, the infirmary employees will become employees of Long Term Care Employee Services, another company owned by Phillips.
Additionally, it was agreed that the county would pay any infirmary operating losses through the end of this year.
Phillips said he believes he can bring the infirmary's budget, which has been operating in the red, back into the black.
"We have substantially cut the losses," Phillips said. "And so the loss where it was budgeted for next year and what we have budgeted for next year are dramatically different."