Hardin Hills Health Center to close July 10

KENTON — Hardin Hills Health Center is set to close its doors. The nursing home was under the ownership of the county. Hardin County Commissioner Roger Crowe said the closing was announced in April following an annual inspection of the building.

“On April 11th we passed a resolution that we would be closing the facility effective July 10th of this year,” Crowe said. “July 10th is the date that was set by the state of Ohio for closures of nursing facilities. Once you tell them you are going to close, there are 90 days to finalize the closure.”

The nursing home was previously the County Home but later had a name change to Hardin Hills Health Center in 1997.

“The building was constructed back in the 50s,” Crowe said. “It was not built to make it an easy process to remodel and bring up to standards. What brought it all to a head is that we had a quarterly fire system inspection. It was a routine inspection. The results said our fire pump was not reliable, and they would not guarantee that it would operate in the event of a sprinkler being needed.”

The inspection took place in March. Crowe said the organization did hire a staff person to monitor the building 24/7 for “fire watch.” The fire pump was reportedly outdated and cost-prohibitive.

The facility also had a declining number of residents.

“We are licensed for 85 beds,” Crowe said. “We had 78 beds we were using. Our break-even point is 67 beds in use. Our current census has been in the mid to low 50s. We were well below our break-even point.”

Crowe said the increase in overall costs and salaries following COVID contributed to the closure.

A meeting was held to privately speak with residents and families on Tuesday morning.

“There were a lot of emotions involved,” Crowe said. “Some residents had been there for years and some that just moved in now found this out. There was a lot of anger and disappointment in the meeting. We are working to assist the relocation of all the residents. The staff at Hardin Hills will personally go with residents to the new facility to make sure they get settled in and the new facility knows all the special needs of the residents.”

The center is located at 1211 West Lima Street in Kenton. For more information call 419-673-5251.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.