LIMA — In 1968, Burton Rubens and his team of six came together to form HCF Management Inc. Now 50 years later, the nursing agency has expanded outside of the region.
HCF, 1100 Shawnee Road, began as a need to provide compassionate and rehabilitative care. The business was first led by Rubens, the former owner and president. HCF began with its first nursing facility, Roselawn Manor in Spencerville, in 1969. Within ten years the agency built Wapakoneta Manor, Van Wert Manor, Piqua Manor, Lima Manor, Bowling Green Manor, Shawnee Manor and Celina Manor.
By the end of 1980s, HCF — which is literally short for Health Care Facilities — had 14 locations in Northwest Ohio. In 1980, Rubens decided to expand to Pennsylvania and built Corry Manor in Corry, Penn.
“Burton’s vision was to expand in order to serve mostly rural communities because they didn’t have access to services like those in the metropolitan area,” said Barb Masella HCF’s vice president of operations. “There was a real need for that at the time.”
Richard Unverferth, who became the owner in 1977, was instrumental in helping expand the business. His son, Jim Unverferth, became president in 1995 and led the company up until he passed away on Sept. 29.
“We take care of the patient first,” said Kevan Unverferth, administrator at Roselawn Manor. “Our father’s philosophy was always to take care of the patient, the staff and then everything else afterward.”
The company is now owned by his Jim Unverferth’s wife, Joni Unverferth. HCF currently serves nearly 3,000 care community residents and employs more than 4,000 employees.
There are nearly 350 employees who have been with the company for 20 years, and 22 have been with the company for 40 or more years.
“We get them and keep them,” Masella said. “This is a family-owned company, and it truly is family. Any time you have 350 of your staff being there for 20 years or longer, that says we are doing something right.”
There are now 31 nursing and assisted living care locations across Ohio and Pennsylvania, including seven in the Lima area. Those facilities include Briarwood Village in Coldwater, Burton’s Ridge in Lima, Celina Manor in Celina, Lima Manor in Lima, Roselawn Manor in Spencerville, Shawnee Manor in Lima, Van Wart Manor in Van Wert and Wapakoneta Manor in Wapakoneta.
Each facility is structured to cater to and accommodate residents, Masella said. There are memory and Alzheimer wings for residents requiring that care, and there are medical director and nurse practitioners who can help further assist the patients.
There are also therapy services, salons, cafes, therapy gyms, family-style living rooms and activity centers where patients can partake in daily activities like Bingo and weekly church services.
“We try to have the best of both worlds, so we created a niche of neighbors within our nursing homes so that you have the small communities that are attached by hallways,” said Masella.
An average patient’s length of stay is less than 30 days.
“The goal is for most people to go home,” said Masella.
Roselawn Manor is one of the most unique facilities in the area because it was the first in the area to have ventilator beds. These specialty beds help patients who have respiratory issues and who require a breathing apparatus, Kevan Unverferth said.
Several transformations have happened over the last several years.
Both Shawnee Manor and Wapakoneta Manor underwent full renovations this year. The company also added assisted living suites at the St. Catherine’s Manor of Washington Court House in Washington Court House. New cottages were also added to the Briarwood Village location in Coldwater.
HCF also expanded into home health care with the purchase of 2009 Heritage Health Care and the acquisition of Encompass Care in 2015.
Heritage Home Care offers skilled and rehab services in patient’s homes and in assisted living facilities. Those services include skilled nursing visits, therapy, speech therapy, and private duty such as light house keeping, bathing and daily living activities.
EncompassCare is a therapy service throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania that provides to both skilled nursing facility residents and patients through other agencies. Those services include physical and occupational therapy and several other therapy services.
The therapy service is also a certified provider for mental health services, with licensed social workers who provide counseling to patients who are trying to adapt to new environments and new diagnoses.
“We live the same visions and values that HCF does,” said Kerri Romes, Encompass Care vice president of operations and one of Jim Unverferth’s five living children. “We follow the same goals and family oriented and patient-first atmosphere.”
Over the last 50 years HCF has provided the community with several services to not only assist the senior community, but the community as a whole, said Bruce Schroeder, HCF executive vice president.
“We want our patients to feel at home, and our goal is to provide what they need in a home-like environment,” Schroeder said. “We are definitely big believers of the community and value the relationships that we have built over the years. So we are going to keep in mind those main core values that got us here in the last 50 and work together for a great next 50 years.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews