Porter Hills Selects Yachcik As Its New CEO

February 1, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Porter Hills Retirement Communities and Services has brought in a new leader who offers a long history of involvement on the long-term care industry’s for-profit side.

Larry Yachcik, an Alpena native who most recently was vice president of corporate operations for Tendercare Michigan Inc., is Porter Hills’ new president and CEO.

“I think there’s a very strong sense of mission on the nonprofit side, in person-centered care and outcomes, as we are tied to a Christian organization,” said Yachcik, whose appointment commenced last month.

Yachcik has owned and managed nursing homes and assisted living centers, including Park Village Pines in Kalamazoo. He also spent seven years as vice president of government relations for the Health Care Association of Michigan, the trade group for the industry’s for-profit members.

In a statement, Porter Hills Board Chairman Milt Rohwer said it was Yachcik’s accomplishments that impressed board members, who were not seeking someone from the for-profit realm.

“We chose Larry because he was the most qualified,” Rohwer stated. “The board also believes he encompasses all the qualities we were seeking in the new CEO and that he will be inspired by Porter Hills’ mission and strong heritage in serving older adults in the greater Grand Rapids area.”

While at the Health Care Association of Michigan, Yachcik developed a Medical Director Associate Membership program that allowed 250 long-term care and assisted living centers to share best practices and clinical practice guidelines.

Tendercare, a family-owned, 35-site chain based in Sault Ste. Marie, was sold in 2007 for $232.3 million to Extendicare, a Canadian public for-profit that already owned 230 nursing homes and assisted living centers in 12 states and four provinces. The deal was one of a flurry of nursing home purchases in Michigan last year, including the $6.3 million acquisition of Manor Care by the private equity firm Carlyle Group, which encompassed seven West Michigan Heartland Health Centers. Opponents to the sale, citing health and safety violation records, were unsuccessful in their attempts to block it.

Yachcik said that industry trends, such as the move toward short-term rehabilitation stays, affect for-profits and nonprofits alike.

“That certainly is playing itself out at Porter Hills,” he said. “Most people don’t know that about 65 percent of elders who go into a long-term care facility go to rehab and then go into a less intensive environment.”

As a “continuing care retirement community,” Porter Hills offers progressive levels of care that includes a 101-bed long-term care facility. But Yachcik said the baby boomer generation is about to test the market.

The challenge “is looking at what our customers are saying they want,” Yachcik said. “We know they want to live at home with services as long as they possibly can. At the same time, there’s a burgeoning population.” Long-term care needs to find a way to provide that sort of individual care in a cost-effective way, while at the same time providing skilled nursing facilities for those who need it, he said.

Yachcik points to Porter Hills’ current Greenhouse project, in which 20 beds from the Fulton Street location are being relocated to its Cook Valley Estate site near East Paris Avenue and Cascade Road into a new facility that will operate under the Eden philosophy of elder care. Porter Hills is offering another program, called LifeCircles, in Muskegon and northern Ottawa counties that allows people in need of skilled nursing to remain in their homes but receive services at a center.

Porter Hills serves about 1,000 older adults in nine residential communities, and a home health care agency.

Yackchik’s predecessor was David B. Douma, who died last year after being injured in a car accident.

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