A historic landmark in Erie is changing owners. St. Mary’s East of Erie is scheduled to be sold to an affiliate of a New York Based health care.
We went live from St. Mary’s on East 26th Street after talking to board members of the facility. For board members, it was an emotional day.
Administrators at St. Mary’s told us that it’s bittersweet, but a decision they have pondered for years.
The president of St. Mary’s said the facility has lost money since 2019 and the pandemic is not helping.
St. Mary’s East of Erie will soon be sold after more than 135 years.
“It’s tough. This place it’s very near and dear to my heart. I can almost come to tears with knowing what the sisters have done here on this side of town,” said Chris Coughlin, President of the Board at St. Mary’s East of Erie.
Allen Bonace, CEO of St. Mary’s East of Erie said that it was a decision that he did not take lightly.
The decision comes after a reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates which is $325 daily for a single room in Erie.
Saint Mary’s is scheduled to be sold to Hill Valley Healthcare, a New York based affiliate.
“Whatever they said they would do for the community. What they said they would do for residents and employees. They are going to match seniority, pay and equal benefits,” said Allen Bonace, CEO of St. Mary’s Erie.
The sale will include 139 licensed nursing beds along with a 50% current occupancy.
Hill Valley is expected to keep the same employees, benefits and CDC COVID-19 pandemic guidelines at St. Mary’s.
While the facility is not being sold to a Catholic institution, some hope that the values will remain the same.
“We may not have mass everyday, but it could be that there is communion services and other rituals in Catholic nature,” said Sister Mary Drexler, President of Sisters of Saint Joseph.
It’s anticipated that Hill Valley will take over ownership beginning on May 1st or pending on licensing with the PA Department of Health and Human Services, the new ownership could be pushed back until June 1st.