Edgewood Summit officials on Wednesday unveiled the new $12.8 million Arthur B. Hodges Center at Edgewood Summit, which will help provide memory support and skilled nursing services at the West Side retirement community.
The new 29,000-square-foot unit will house up to 38 residents: 18 on the first-floor memory support unit, which will focus on care for residents with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, and 20 in the second-floor skilled nursing unit.
Edgewood has hired 40 trained nurses and support personnel with experience in long-term care to staff the facility.
The center is named after the local philanthropist who, upon his death in 1971 at age 85, bequeathed more than $572,000 to the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation to help build a senior complex in Charleston.
That original Arthur B. Hodges Center opened on Morris Street in 1980. It closed in 2003, though its board continued to work to provide funding for senior services programs in the region.
The center played a role in developing the Edgewood community with a $1.5 million grant in the early 1990s. Last year, the center's board decided to use its remaining $4.6 million in assets to complete the funding for the new Edgewood Summit facility.
Larry Crimmins, president of the Edgewood board of directors, was on the Hodges Center board when it decided to make the final donation. He said the board believed the new Edgewood center would keep alive Arthur Hodges' original vision.
"We're just continuing with the theme of providing unique senior care in the way he wanted," Crimmins said.
Diane Gouhin, executive director at Edgewood Summit, said the Hodges Center helped Edgewood get its start as an independent living retirement community in 1995. The new donation and building, she said, now allow Edgewood to come full circle and offer seniors a complete continuum of care.
She said the skilled nursing and memory support units now make Edgewood the Kanawha Valley's first and only complete Continuing Care Retirement Community, and one of just a handful of its kind in the state.
While the new center is designed to meet residents' health care needs, its layout and design make it look more like a hotel than a hospital.
There are large lounge and activity rooms, open dining areas, lots of windows and natural lighting, musical instruments, flat-panel televisions and electronic fireplaces for decor.
Crimmins said the layout and decorations are designed to provide comfort and positive atmosphere for patients whose memory and cognitive skills have been affected by Alzheimer's or dementia.