Bell closing, selling Woodland facility

By Adelle Whitefoot

ISHPEMING – The Woodland Senior Living Community will cease operations next month as Bell Hospital is selling the property.

Following the receipt of a tentative purchase offer, the Bell Hospital board directed staff to work on the sale of Woodland with the expectation that the facility will be closed by June 30, said Ruth Solinksi, Bell Hospital vice president of organizational development. Residents were given a 45-day notice this week per the requirement of the leases.

“We received the purchase offer at a time that we were at a 50 percent occupancy, so we felt like it was appropriate to review operations and focus on core business areas that allow us to engage in patient care,” Solinksi said.

The purchase offer is still tentative, so Solinksi did not identify the potential buyer or what the facility will be used for. Solinksi said even though the offer is tentative, she is confident the sale will be completed.

“We wouldn’t have notified residents if we didn’t feel confident that the purchase would go through,” she said.

According to Solinksi, there were several parties interested in purchasing the property over the past few years, but this was the first credible purchase offer.

“The purchase was appropriate given our current operations,” Solinksi said. “We are making this decision as an independent organization and this is in no way connected to our letter of intent with Lifepoint.”

Bell and Lifepoint announced in March they had signed a letter of intent for lifepoint to acquire Bell.

Woodland has been in operation as a senior citizen living community since 1999. There are current 13 residents living in Woodland.

“Our staff is working with all of the residents in providing assistants and we’ve reached out to other facilities to try and facilitate a smooth transition for our residents,” Solinksi said.