Pelican senior living board solicits proposals from other firms, institutions after about 20 years with Ecumen

Alternative management options are being explored by the Pelican Valley Hospital District Board.

The Pelican Rapids-headquartered nursing home and assisted living operation is seeking requests for proposals for management services.

A special committee has been meeting to discuss new proposals, and have also met with Ecumen, the present management company.

At the Dec. 18 Pelican Valley Board meeting, a deadline of Jan. 21 has been set for written proposals. Ecumen is invited to submit proposals; and eight other prospects have been sent proposal guidelines –including Broen Homes in Fergus Falls, the Eventide group , and Bethany.

The arrangement between Ecumen and Pelican Valley dates to about the late 1990s.

The idea of soliciting proposals has been discussed by the Pelican Valley board for at least three months –based on published meeting minutes. Numerous board members expressed the need to explore other options for management and administrative support services.

“As a matter of good business practice our board feels it’s important to always be evaluating who we do business with to ensure we are getting a good value and receiving the service we need,” stated Barbara Axness, Pelican Valley executive director. “The board wants to review other prospects to see if there may be some partnership opportunities or other things out there that will help Pelican Valley continue to be a high quality provider of care and services.”

Axness and the board generally agree that a management support is necessary, given the increasing complexities of the long term care industry. It would be difficult financially to operate entirely with internal staff–as additional employees would be necessary, said Axness. Management firms would have specialized staff in areas of regulatory support, (computer-technology expertise, payroll and accounts payable) as well as other specialized demands in running senior care community.

“It’s important we have a good strategic partner,” said Axness. “As you saw, we have more regulations than ever before and it is getting more and more complex to be a senior care provider. Having a strong partner to support us is vital.”

Ecumen’s management fees are based on revenue. Currently, Pelican Valley is paying about $160,000 per year for Ecumen’s support services and management of the three facilities.

“Our management company is in many ways our backbone just due to all the aspects of day to day operations,” said Axness, ranging from computer software to business office and human resources support and also budgeting. “It is important we continue to have a management service.”

Click here for complete details on the Pelican Valley Senior Living management contract request.