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News from Unity

NYS Approves Park Ridge Living Center Certificate of Need - $1 Million Gift Received for Project

Just four months after its submission, New York State has approved a Certificate of Need (CON) for the replacement of Park Ridge Living Center, one of three 120-bed skilled nursing facilities owned and operated by Unity Health System.   The approval of the CON allows Unity to move forward with plans to replace the existing 35-year-old Living Center with a new and innovative design plan unique to western New York.  Unity’s plans have been further bolstered by a $1 million gift from the family of Edwin J. and Lois M. Wegman.


The $1 million gift is made in honor of the couple. Edwin Wegman was a Greece resident and member of the Northwest Hospital Committee, the group of community residents who banded  together in the 1960s to build a  hospital in the Town of Greece. At that time, Mr. Wegman donated a portion of the land which comproses the 156-acre Campus.   He was a board member of Park Avenue Hospital, and served on the original board of directors of Park Ridge Hospital.  He remained active as a co-chairman of the Hospital's first major capital campaign and as vice  president of the Park Ridge Foundation, among other roles.  Mr. Wegman passed away in January 2007.  Lois Wegman supported her husband's community and business activities while raising  the couple's six children.  She resides in Greece. 


“This major gift enables us to continue to build upon our founders’ vision to provide for the needs of local residents,” said Timothy R. McCormick, CEO of Unity Health System.    “Ed Wegman played a key role in the creation of the Unity Park Ridge Campus, and it means a great deal to have the Wegman Family’s endorsement of our continuing efforts and standards of care.”    


Park Ridge Living Center will be replaced with an innovative cottage-style design – the first ever to be built in western New York.  Four free-standing one-floor cottages, to be known as the Ed and Lois Wegman Cottages at Park Ridge Living Center, will be built behind the existing three-story Living Center building.  The home-like style of the cottages replaces designs traditionally used for skilled nursing facilities.  Each cottage will have 20 private rooms and private baths.  Enclosed courtyards will be easily accessible to all residents and allow those who enjoy flower or vegetable gardening to enjoy those hobbies.  In the community kitchens, residents can participate in preparing their own meals.  The concept enhances resident privacy, and fosters independence and social interaction


A 40-bed short-stay Transitional Care Center, also featuring private rooms and baths and access to rehabilitation and other support services, will be built onto the existing Living Center building as part of the replacement plan.  


The $23 million project is part of a multi-year, $144 million redevelopment of the Unity Park Ridge Campus, which includes plans to expand Unity Hospital and The Villages senior living community.   Another $3 million in private donations is being sought to support the Living Center project.  Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2008, with completion in 2009. 


About Unity Health System


Unity Health System provides a complete network of health care services from the Unity Park Ridge Hospital Campus in the town of Greece, the Unity St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, and at numerous other sites throughout Rochester and western Monroe County. Services include inpatient and outpatient hospital care and surgery, a family birth place, women’s health services, chemical dependency and mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, adult day health and home health programs for older adults, retirement communities, child care, and laboratory services, among many others.


About Unity Health Foundation


Unity Health Foundation supports Unity Health System by actively encouraging charitable support and providing responsible management of its assets.  The Foundation is governed by a 30-member volunteer board of directors comprised of individuals from the Greater Rochester community. The Foundation is a member of the Rochester Grantmaker's Forum and the Greece Chamber of Commerce.