Nonprofit chain finds way to make a 'win-win' transition

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Gerald Grant
Gerald Grant
The year 2009 was a time of transition for Peninsula United Methodist Homes. CEO Allen Johnson was retiring; a partner was needed for a project in Bethany Beach; and the financial future of the company, while not dire, was uncertain.

“It was a natural time for us to be looking at new possibilities,” said Bob Supper, who was the PUMH Chief Financial Officer and is today ACTS' Retirement-Life Communities' Vice President of Operations, Mid-Atlantic Region.

The affiliation between PUMH and ACTS, which allowed them to remain separate legal entities, became final last year in what officials call a “win-win” for both groups. ACTS also affiliated with CCRC Heron Point in Chestertown, MD, which PUMH was managing. The deal gave ACTS, the largest not-for-profit owner, operator and developer of CCRCs in the U.S., a strong foothold in Maryland and Delaware.

PUMH recognized “that while they were successful for 50 years and in good financial health, it was a good opportunity to pass the baton,” said Gerald Grant, ACTS executive vice president and chief financial officer. PUMH looked at 10 organizations, ultimately choosing ACTS, in part, because of “mission compatibility.”

“While both organizations have long since distanced themselves from the church-sponsorship, they very much have operated under Christian principles and spirit,” Grant explained.

Still, there were challenges. While less than 1% of staff was reduced, the bulk of cuts were in the corporate office.
Still, “ACTS truly worked with us. The affiliation has resulted in 100% of residents having a more secure long-term future and 95% of employees are better off,” Supper said.

Ziegler Investment Banking Managing Director Steve Jeffrey said affiliations like this reflect consolidation in long-term care, which associations have encouraged as an option for struggling providers.
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