This spring, ground breaking should begin on a $1.5 million addition to Providence Place of Pottsville, compliments of former Pennsylvania Gov. George M. Leader.
Leader was governor from 1955 to 1959. According to an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, he has worked for more than 50 years as a nursing home owner and operator.
The article explained that in 1975, his firm, Leader Nursing Care, built a facility in Pottsville that it operated until the mid 1990s. HCR ManorCare took over that home in 1997. In 1998, Leader became founder and CEO of Providence Place Retirement Community. He opened its first location in Pottsville in 1999. Providence Place Retirement Community has 3 other facilities in Hazleton, Chambersburg, and Dover.
In the article, Leader explained the need he saw, "What's happening in America among the elderly is we're getting tremendous growth in the need for accommodations for Alzheimer's patients. And we worked out a program and are planning to build an unsecured unit for early-onset Alzheimer's patients who have no tendency to wander."
Providence Place currently has a secured unit for Alzheimer's patients. The addition will give early-onset Alzheimer's patients more freedom. Providence Place is a 130-bed facility with 157 residents and 120 staff members. The addition would expand the facility by 18 units. Some units are double units, so the facility will expand to about 185 beds.
The city's building inspector is reviewing plans now. Ground breaking is expecteed to happen in spring.