Sunday, December 20, 2015

Approval Sought for New Facilities for Greene Valley Residents

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A state agency is being asked to approve at least 14 new group homes to house the remaining residents of the state run Greene Valley Development Center, which is under a federal court closure order.
A review of applications pending before the state Health Department shows one provider alone, Open Arms Care, already the largest provider of services to the mentally and physically disabled in Tennessee, is seeking approval to build nine new facilities. Each would house four current residents of state run Greene Valley.
Under state law applicants for most new health facilities must seek approval from the state Health Department for a certificate of need as part of the licensing process. 
The applications for those certificates show that none of the new facilities are expected to be completed by June 30, 2016, the date originally set for the complete closure of Greene Valley.  In fact a state panel will only begin consideration of the applications next month.
Officials of the state Department of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, which runs Greene Valley, recently conceded that the June 30 shutdown date was unlikely to be met and funding would be necessary to keep Greene Valley in operation.
Cara Kumari, a DIDD spokeswoman, said that all of the beds in the pending applications are earmarked for specific current Greene Valley residents.
"These providers were chosen by people living at Greene Valley and their conservators," Kumari wrote in a written response to questions.
She said the agency set up fairs for entities willing to provide services so they could meet with families of Greeneville residents and interested parties and arrange agency tours "to ensure families had all the information they needed to make an informed decision."
"All of these beds have been currently claimed by a person leaving Greene Valley," Kumari added.

While June 30, 2016 was the agreed closing date under a federal court decree, the estimated opening dates, according to the pending applications stretch to November of 2016 and beyond.
In addition the number of beds sought in the pending applications falls short of the estimated 75 current Greene Valley residents who have opted to move to these four bed facilities. According to filings with the state health agency, 45 of the 75 have indicated they wish to remain in Greene County.
The estimated daily charges for each resident, according to the applications, are slightly under $800. That would mean an annual cost of nearly $300,000 for each of the 75 residents
In addition to Open Arms, a nonprofit incorporated in Georgia, applications have been submitted by D & S Residential, a Texas firm, and Sunrise Community of Tennessee, a subsidiary of a Florida firm.
While Sunrise does currently operate in Tennessee, D & S does not.
Open Arms is seeking approval to open three facilities in Greene County, four in Knoxville and two in Georgetown, Hamilton County.
Two of the Open Arms facilities would be located on East Church Lane in Greeneville and one on Chuckey Pike in Chuckey. However the application for the Chuckey Pike property contains legal documents relating to the Church Lane property.
The Georgetown homes are slated be located on Gamble Road, while the Knoxville homes will be built on Bishops Bridge Road and Northshore Drive.
Although Open Arms is a non profit, the application shows the management of their homes will be performed by a separate firm, Integra Resources LLC. Integra, which is not a non-profit,  is owned by the SMI Group and Flatrock Investors.
SMI is owned by George Stevens and Jeffery Mastroleo, while Flatrock is owned by Joseph Torrence and Richard L. Brown, the application states.
Integra is the same company that bought 32 group homes from Open Arms in May of this year for $11.5 million, according to the application files.
Open Arms won't actually own the new homes either, but a separate non-profit will rent them.
Sunrise, meanwhile, has applied to open a four bed home at 680 Quaker Knob Road and 640 Old Shiloh Road in Chuckey
D & S is seeking to open homes on Erwin Highway in Afton and Old Stage Road in Greeneville.

Open Arms Care Corp.

1817 Bishops Bridge Road Knoxville
12621 South Northshore Drive Knoxville
Chuckey Pike Chuckey
East Church Road Greeneville
Sunrise Community of Tennessee

680 Quaker Knob Road Chuckie
640 Old Shiloh Road
D & S Residential

2609 Erwin Highway Afton
2619 Erwin Highway Afton
Old Stage Road Greeneville

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