Levindale, Jewish Convalescent, two old rivals, agree to merge

Nursing homes

November 13, 1999|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

Two Baltimore-area Jewish nursing homes that have competed for about six decades announced plans yesterday to merge.

The merger of Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Pimlico and the Jewish Convalescent & Nursing Home in Randallstown will become final next month, pending approval by the Maryland Health Care Commission and the institutions' boards of directors.

"The merger will mean a stronger commitment to caring for Baltimore's growing Jewish aging population," said Ron Roth- stein, president and chief operating officer of Levindale, who will become president of the new company.

Patients at both institutions will be able to stay where they are.

Levindale and Jewish Convalescent will keep their names, and no layoffs will result from the merger, officials said.

Levindale will seek regulatory approval for Hurwitz House -- a 23-bed nursing facility the company operates -- to consolidate operations with Jewish Convalescent. The 16 residents at Hurwitz House will be able to move to Jewish Convalescent or Levindale. Levindale officials said they have had long-standing concerns about the condition and efficiency of Hurwitz House.

After the merger, both facilities will be overseen by a board of directors that includes equal representation from Levindale and Jewish Convalescent.

Levindale, part of the LifeBridge Health network, has 219 beds and has been serving the Jewish elderly population since the 1890s. Jewish Convalescent, which has 145 beds, was established in 1936.

"Both institutions have identical missions," said Lenny Sacks, chairman of Jewish Convalescent's board. "If we both focus on what we can do well together, we can provide the best possible care and a family atmosphere using all the resources at our disposal."

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