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The Oaks sale moving closer to final; ‘debts have been reduced substantially’
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The Oaks sale moving closer to final; ‘debts have been reduced substantially’

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The Oaks Walsh Apartments

The three-story James F. Walsh apartment complex on the campus of The Oaks in Orangeburg.

The Methodist Oaks is moving toward completing sale of the retirement community to a private firm.

“During the past year the Methodist Oaks has worked closely with The Oaks of Orangeburg to meet the conditions required to complete the sale of the assets of the Methodist Oaks to the Oaks of Orangeburg,” the Methodist Oaks said via press release. “The board is pleased with the progress to improve the service and efficiency of the organization and reach a sustainable financial position.”

The Methodist Oaks trustees agreed to sell the assets of the retirement community in June 2019 to The Oaks of Orangeburg LLC, an entity led by Clay Fowler, owner and operator of Orangeburg's Longwood Plantation Assisted Living and Magnolia Place Memory Care. The Methodist Oaks has operated as an independent, non-profit corporation.

INDUSTRY APPRECIATION: The Oaks sold to company led by Longwood Plantation owner

The sale was made due to financial challenges as the facility was about $17 million in debt.

“The debts have been reduced substantially as the Oaks of Orangeburg prepares to assume all of the liabilities of the Methodist Oaks,” according to the press release.

“While some legacy physical plant issues exist, all of the systems are currently in working order and will benefit from the investment that will be forthcoming when the sale is complete. We have recently received communication from HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) that approval of the loan assumption is nearing completion.

“The management team has responded well to the challenges and changes required of them and has worked to continually improve the service to our residents,” according to the press release.

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In its statement, the Methodist Oaks also noted:

  • Former leaders have returned to their positions, including Scott Ewing as CEO, Johnna Patrick as director of nursing and Diane Johnson as PACE center director.
  • Val Kreil was recruited as the nursing home administrator in the middle of 2019 and under new leadership the nursing home recruited a number of certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses.

“The recruitment was so successful that all of the ‘agency’ staffing was eliminated in the fall of 2019. This has led to a return to quality at a cost level that puts The Oaks in a position to grow and continue to improve quality.”

The statement credited Oaks employees.

“We are very proud of all that our employees have accomplished in the last year and especially in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the social movement that is occurring in our nation.

The Oaks has much to offer

“Much of our time has been spent defending our residents and employees from community COVID infection by procuring medical-grade surgical and isolation masks in order to reduce the risk that employees bring the virus into the community. We are following interim guidance published by the CDC to ensure that the personal protective equipment lasts as long as it can amid the global shortage of such supplies,” according to the Methodist Oaks.

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“Likewise we have secured a stockpile of N-95 masks and gowns in the event that we have an outbreak at some time. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has mandated that ALL nursing home residents and employees receive a COVID test. When our residents and staff were recently tested, we had no cases on the campus. Only today were we informed of a single case and are taking the appropriate measures.”

“The board and leadership of The Oaks have a sincere desire to see justice and fairness for people of all colors. We are all one race created by a supreme God who values each of us as precious. As such, we recognize that there are still instances of systemic racism and discrimination along with reminders of the past which cause pain to African Americans. We will do our part to make things better and hope to be a part of the conversation on how mutual respect can bring our society to a better tomorrow.”

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