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The Skanner News
Published: 10 September 2009

Providence ElderPlace – nationally recognized for providing comprehensive services to older adults with health concerns – has agreed to assume operations of Covenant Retirement Communities' Irvington Village, a 104-unit affordable assisted-living facility in Northeast Portland.
Covenant approached Providence and proposed the agreement to ensure the future success of Irvington Village, a key resource for senior affordable living and Medicaid-funded services for the Northeast Portland community.
"This is the best possible outcome for Irvington Village," said Rick Fisk, Covenant president. "We are grateful to Providence for partnering with us to secure its future for our community."
The facility originated within the Irvington Covenant Church and was a faith based organization.
"It was owned by Covenant Retirement Communities since the beginning in 2002, and they built it on funding from tax credits," said Cindy Noordijk, who is managing the transition with Irvington Covenant for Providence. "We've maintained a majority of the original staff, and they and the residents are very excited."
The agreement follows several months of conversations between Covenant, Providence and the state of Oregon.
Providence ElderPlace currently operates six health and social centers and manages 230 supportive housing units in the Portland area. It is Oregon's only licensed provider of the nationally recognized Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly.
Of the 100 residents currently living at Irvington Village, 32 are already Providence ElderPlace members. Other residents who qualify also now have the option of joining ElderPlace. However, even if they choose not to enroll, they can continue to live and receive care at Irvington Village.
"Covenant Retirement Communities is losing money managing and operating the facility," Noordijk told The Skanner News. "With Providence Elder Place we have our Elder Place in Cully and Elder Place at Marie Smith Center and they're nearing capacity, and we have 32 of our participants at Elder Place actually reside in Irvington Village and so Elder Place – that's part of why Irvington approached us."
Providence plans to renovate the first floor of the facility to add a health and social center. The center will allow ElderPlace members to receive their medical and other services on the Irvington Village campus. Previously, they had to travel to other ElderPlace facilities for care.
"Providence and Elder Place thought it was really important to try to maintain that affordable housing for those residents in Irvington Village," Noordijk said. "Right now there's 94 residents that reside there, and if Elder Place hadn't stepped in to operate it there's the potential that all of those residents would have to move -- and at the time there were only around 12 Medicaid vacant beds in North and Northeast Portland, and the majority of those residents would have had to move to Gresham/East County area.
She said that ElderPlace has collaborated with Irvington Village leadership to ensure a smooth transition for residents, their families and staff.
"They're all eligible by the state of Oregon for nursing facility level of care, so they're Medicaid recipients, and then we also have some disabled ones that are under 55 that require 24/7 caregiving," Noordijk said. "So the average age is probably around 80 and then the diagnoses range from dementia to congestive heart failure -- they're some of the frailest elderly living outside of nursing homes in Oregon."

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