TORRINGTON – Welcov Healthcare, the Minnesota-based company which operates nursing homes and senior care facilities in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming, is stepping away from some of its operations as part of a company-wide reorganization.
But Tom Boerboom, Welcov president, told the Telegram on Thursday the company remains committed to the Goshen Healthcare Community and Evergreen Court Living Centers in Torrington.
“Welcov has experienced some challenges, similar to challenges many others in the (senior care) industry have,” Boerboom said. “Labor costs and benefit costs have exploded, really impacted the industry. Welcov hasn’t been immune from that.”
The company is currently in the process of “winding down operations,” he said. “But Goshen (Healthcare Community) has been insulated from those issues.”
That’s important, Boerboom said, as he remains committed to plans for a $7 million, 24,000-square-foot assisted living facility, to be built in Torrington on a three-acre plot adjacent to Evergreen Court. In September, the Wyoming Business Council approved a $3 million Business Ready Community grant for the project.
To quell rumors of a bankruptcy which could have derailed those plans, Boerboom said that project, as well as overall operations in Goshen County, remain a priority.
The reorganization of the company “really shouldn’t affect (the project) at all, in my opinion,” he said. “We signed a lease agreement to help bring that facility on board and to operate it. We have the capabilities to do that.
We don’t want any adverse effects on that facility at all,” Boerboom said. “We’ve worked pretty hard to make sure things continue on as they have been.”
At some point in the future, there will no longer be a Welcov. The new company, which Boerboom said is still in the process of being organized, will be focused primarily on operations in Goshen County. Welcov’s other facilities, including two facilities in Casper, will be transferred to other senior healthcare management companies, he said.
But “Goshen (Healthcare Community and Evergreen Court) will be transferred to our new company,” Boerboom said. “It will be comprised of many of the same people who’ve worked at Goshen before.”
Some corporate operations will be moving to Torrington as well, while the new company will continue other operations out of its Minneapolis, Minn., offices.
Requests for statements and information from the Goshen County Economic Development Corporation and the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board were not successful as of publication.