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Minnewaska to manage Balaton assisted living facility

Avera to provide home care services as subcontractor

BALATON — Balaton Mayor Lonnie Lambertus declared the city council and the Balaton Economic Authority “took a positive step forward” last week in reaching an agreement with Minnewaska Community Health Services to take over management of Lakeview Senior Housing starting July 1.

The Council and EDA board held a joint meeting June 4 to approve the lease agreement. The meeting follows the announced closing of the Colonial Manor nursing home facility that is next door to the Lakeview facility. LSI Consulting managed both facilities, but gave notice it would not be renewing its contract. The Balaton City Council voted to close Colonial Manor after discussing concerns over its financial outlook and debt.

However, the decision was made to keep the Lakeview facility in operation and Balaton EDA Director Lisa Graphenteen started the request for proposal process to find new management for the assisted living facility.

The agreement with Minnewaska calls for Avera Health to provide services to Lakeview residents as a subcontractor, according to a joint press release.

Minnewaska CEO Christopher Knoll said he’s looking forward to the partnership with Avera to serve the senior population. The agreement calls for Avera to provide Medicare certified comprehensive home care services such as hospice and therapy. Minnewaska will provide the maintenance and be responsible for operating expenses.

“We wanted to ensure the people of Balaton that this facility will be providing care for its residents for a long time,” Lambertus was quoted in the press release. “Given the recent change with Colonial Manor, it was not practical for the EDA to manage it independently. A partnership with Minnewaska and Avera is a win for the community and positions Lakeview very well going forward.”

Lambertus also said Minnewaska has “some great ideas as far as expanding and stuff like that.”

Minnewaska Community Health Services is a faith-based not for profit. It owns and operates four skilled nursing facilities and six assisted living facilities in rural Minnesota locations. The nearest facilities are in Clarkfield and Wabasso.

Avera Health has more than 18,000 employees and physicians, serving more than 300 locations and 100 communities in a five-state region.

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