Hearthstone Communities has entered into an affiliation agreement with another senior living company based in New York. The nonprofit, faith-based organization partnered with Heritage Ministries, located in Gerry, New York, Hearthstone Communities CEO Terry Egan said.
Both groups are affiliated with the Free Methodist Church – USA and are members of the Human Services Ministries of the Free Methodist Church – USA. “It’s an association I’ve known for over 14 years, and I’ve known their CEO for the entire time I’ve been here,” Egan said. “They are a very progressive and strong organization.”
Under the agreement, Hearthstone keeps its identity and current management team. It remains a separate 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Some of Heritage Ministries Board of Directors have joined Hearthstone’s board. Egan will remain CEO of Hearthstone, and Heritage CEO David Smeltzer will become president. Egan said the affiliation was inspired after the Hearthstone board had a strategic planning day and looked at where it wanted to be in years to come.
“We felt that we could use the strength of a partner in a stronger financial position than us,” Egan said. “Out of that meeting, we formed a committee of board members and interviewed three different organizations, and Heritage is an emerging leader nationally in the senior living community.”
Smeltzer said in a news release the agreement will create economies of scale, improve operational efficiency, increase financial depth and further Hearthstone’s access to markets in the competitive Chicago area. Egan said the partnership will help Hearthstone with strategic planning and enhancing its facilities.
“We’ll be working on a lot of capital project improvements and building improvements,” Egan said. “It’s a real dynamic industry, and we offer all levels of care. One of the things we want to continue to work on is expanding our independent living options.” Hearthstone originally began as the Chicago Industrial Home for Children in 1886, but shortly after expanded to providing senior care.
Senior independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehab and long-term care nursing all are offered at the campus in Woodstock, located east of Route 47 and north of Route 120. Early learning and after-school care services for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old are offered at the Hearthstone Early Learning Center.
Heritage has six locations in New York and one in Washington, serving more than 1,200 individuals annually. “They allow us to keep our name, our identity, and our cultures are very similar,” Egan said. “From a standpoint of how things will look and feel, it will be the same except we’ll be stronger.”