Adams County Manor renovating, expanding

The Adams County Manor (ACM) nursing home facility in West Union is renovating and expanding to include a cutting-edge therapy rehabilitation center and additional private rooms for patients, according to ACM President, John Houser.

The ACM facility, located in one of West Union’s historic 19th century buildings, is just shy of being 40,000 square feet in area – including the first and second floors of the original structure. The new addition being constructed on the building’s back side will add 12,000 square feet to the facility.

“It’s a beautiful building and we love having it, but it’s not super functional for modern medicine,” says Houser. “We’re very limited by space right now, but our new therapy gym will be in the neighborhood of 3,000 square feet – that’s much bigger than we have now, so we’ll be able to provide space for physical and speech therapy, equipment, and also, a quiet place for residents.”

Houser told the Defender on Monday that many of the changes being made to the facility are in response to patient demand.

“People are looking for change and different types of care, and the expectation now is private rooms,” he says. “People don’t want semi-private rooms anymore.”

In response, ACM is adding 16 new private rooms for residents, and the 16 semi-private rooms currently housing residents will also become private rooms, making a total 32 private rooms available across the back of the facility.

Other renovations taking place in the facility include new lighting, flooring, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls.

The renovation and expansion projects are expected to be completed by February 2019, with Medicare’s approval for operation expected the following month.

The Houser family has owned “The Manor”, as it’s known locally, since 1983 when John’s father, a practicing attorney from the Cincinnati area, purchased the property with a partner. In 1997 Houser bought out the partner’s share, and officially joined the family business along with his sister, Ann, the company’s current Vice-President.

“I became an owner when I was 27 years old,” he says. “I clearly didn’t know anything at the time, so there’s been lots of learning along the way.”

He says the medical care provided by the facility is “completely different than when I started”.

“The type of residents we had when I first came here are no longer in nursing homes – they’re in senior apartments or assisted-living apartments,” he says. “The people we have now are sicker than they were 20 years ago because patients have shorter hospital stays and longer stays in rehab and care facilities like the manor.”

ACM also provides a continuum of care through its Home Health service which continues patient care after residents leave The Manor.

“What we’re seeing as a result of this combination of care is much lower re-hospitalization rates, and better outcomes for our patients,” says Houser.

In the years since he joined the business, Houser says he’s learned to take a common sense view of the healthcare system.

“My general attitude toward the business is pretty straightforward,” he says. “If we take good care of every person who is put into our care, there will be good times and bad, but we’ll always be okay. Even though we can’t always guarantee good end results that’s what we’ll try to do.”

The Manor’s five-star rating suggests they’re doing it with some success.

ACM has been ranked as one of Ohio’s above-average nursing homes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agencies use a star system, with one star being the lowest rating and five stars being the highest. The ranking is based on outcomes, resident and family satisfaction, state-sponsored surveys, staffing levels, and metrics based on ACM data submitted to the agencies on a regular basis.

“If we were a hotel, we’d be the Ritz Carlton,” Houser jokes, but his dedication to maintaining the high-quality facility, that both he and his sister Ann have worked from the bottom up, is apparent. He says he rates the facility based on the quality of care provided by his staff.

“It takes a tremendous amount of empathy to work in a facility like this, and it takes a pretty strong heart because you’re going to see what frequently happens to a person in decline,” he says. “I’m very respectful of the people who do this work, and I can see why it’s not for everyone.”

In addition to ACM Home Health located on Grove Street in Peebles, Houser also owns the five-star Morris Nursing Home in Bethel, Ohio.

Construction work at the manor is being done by North Coast, a company from the Cleveland area. (photo by Patricia Beech) work at the manor is being done by North Coast, a company from the Cleveland area. (photo by Patricia Beech)
Private rooms and new rehab gym added to increase quality of care

By Patricia Beech

People’s Defender