The former Providence Care Center on Pittsfield Road in Lenox is now the Mount Carmel Care Center. The new name matches its new sponsor organization, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, and will continue its services as a short term rehab center and a long term care facility. The facility will retain its staff and administration as part of the roughly $6 million deal. David Laplante is the building administrator for the 69-bed facility.
“We’ve got the resources of the Carmelite system, which is an organization that is just a long term care organization,” Laplante said. “We’re very happy with that because it allows us to have the kind of services that we need and resources. Quite frankly, you need resources to call on and to keep you moving forward. It’s a challenging time in terms of the environment in health care.”
Laplante says 60 percent of the facility’s residents are there on a long-term care basis. He says the long-term care focus of the Carmelite Sisters organization will help the center keep up with the ever-changing health industry.
“Long term care is probably one of the most regulated industries in the nation,” Laplante said. “It becomes more and more of a challenge daily where there are new regulations that are coming out that require us to comply. The other restraints quite frankly are financial. Health care is going through change. There are a lot of question marks around what it’s actually going to look like going forward."
The Sisters of Providence Health System decided to sell the facility because of its distance from its other centers in the Springfield area. Daniel Moen is the company’s President and CEO.
“We took a look at all of our facilities two years ago through a process we call strategic repositioning,” Moen said. “We really looked to make sure the future of each one of our ministries was secure. When you look at health care changes that are happening right now, there is much more of a move toward accountable care and coordinating care in many different ways than we have in the past. So the distance between Providence Care Center in Lenox and our other facilities was a concern going forward. Plus, keeping the institution Catholic was very important to us."
Moen says money from the sale will help Sisters of Providence Health System expand its already wide range of services including acute care, behavioral health and a Hospice Program.
“We’re starting up a Program for All Inclusive Care of the Elderly in Holyoke at the former Brightside campus,” Moen said. “The start-up of that is very important. We feel it’s going to be a very significant service for our ministry.”
Moen notes the transition raises “mixed emotions” while Mother Mark Louis Randall says it was “love at first sight” for the Carmelite Sisters.
“It’s a well run facility and it’s in good shape financially,” Mother Mark said. “Each of our facilities is self-sufficient. Their revenue must cover their expenses.”
Created as a non-profit in 1999 and headquartered in Germantown, New York, Mother Mark says the Carmelite Sisters sponsor 19 nursing and assisted living centers in Framingham, South Boston and eight other states; along with a satellite facility in Dublin, Ireland. As Superior General, she says members of the Carmelite Sisters counsel will be directly involved and available for the facility’s residents and their families.
“Visit weekly, assist administration, visit the residents, talk to families,” she said. “Just get a sense of how things are and be of any assistance possible. Make sure our mission is being lived.”