Florida expansion keys creation of chain's new Southeast division

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Life Care Centers of America, the nation's second-largest privately owned nursing home chain, is creating a new division in the southeastern United States due to its growth in the skilled nursing sector there.

The Southeast Division will include the company's 23 facilities in Florida, plus one at Thomasville, GA. Robert Sprague, an 18-year long-term care veteran, who is currently vice president of the Mesquite Region in Arizona for Life Care, will lead the new division.

The unit will be carved from Life Care's Eastern Division, which had grown too big for optimum management, said Life Care President Don Giardina. The Eastern Division had expanded to 60 facilities in seven states. Other divisions average 32 facilities each. Life Care currently has current divisions.

Life Care has focused its growth in Florida through construction of new buildings over the past several years, the company says. The new division will be based in Orlando and become active March 1, Giardina said.