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Upon his death in 1971, Arthur B. Hodges left $572,115 to West Virginia’s Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, earmarking it for senior living. That donation became the Arthur B. Hodges Center, a nursing home opened in 1980 in Charleston, WV.
While the Hodges Center helped fill a need for skilled nursing, Charleston still lacked a community for retirees seeking independent or assisted living. Most West Virginians wanting those levels of care looked out of state.
With this need in mind, the Hodges Center began exploring the possibility of a new community.
“Where do we begin?” leadership asked.
The Hodges Center engaged Greystone to begin planning. That engagement led to Edgewood Summit, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1990. If Edgewood Summit could provide independent and assisted living, the Hodges Center would complete the full continuum of the 1990s -- memory support had yet to take hold as its own level of care. With this continuum in place, Charleston seniors could continue participating in their organizations and supporting their local economy in later years.
Construction of Edgewood Summit began in 1993. Built onto a 37-acre tract of mountaintop land, the community provided stunning views when its first residents arrived in 1995. That first phase included 90 independent living and 40 assisted living apartments.
From that point, Edgewood Summit and the Hodges Center’s fortunes went different directions.
Edgewood Summit quickly filled a gaping hole in Charleston’s senior continuum. The community reached full occupancy and even developed a long waiting list. Conversely, the Hodges Center’s performance began to slip.
Edgewood Summit capitalized on its waiting list in 2001, adding 37 independent apartments and new commons areas. At the same time, the Arthur B. Hodges Center was sold to the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) for $6 million. After numerous attempts to turn the Hodges Center into a psychiatric hospital, CAMC shut down the operation altogether in summer 2003.
While Edgewood Summit thrived, the Hodges Center’s closing left a new gap in Charleston’s senior services.
As Edgewood Summit continued strategic planning, it suddenly found itself with an opportunity to act. In 2004, the community’s board identified memory support and skilled nursing as its next areas of expansion. If successful, Edgewood Summit could offer the full continuum on its own campus. Executing on this plan wouldn’t be easy.
Edgewood Summit’s mountaintop location left little room for expansion. The community had used most of its buildable area in the first two phases. Further growth would be challenging.
“Where do we begin?” leadership again asked.
Working with Greystone, Edgewood Summit looked at a number of possibilities. A tract of land adjacent to the current community was finally decided upon. The community worked with the city and neighborhood to receive the necessary approvals. Nearly $5 million of the $6 million in proceeds from the sale of the Arthur B. Hodges Center was directed to Edgewood Summit as a grant.
The new health center would be named after Arthur B. Hodges, carrying on the legacy that brought new senior care to Charleston in 1980.
In July 2012, Edgewood Summit began construction of its new health center. The expansion will include 18 memory support units and 20 skilled nursing beds when open in 2013.
Incremental growth allowed Edgewood Summit to build the occupancy, capital and brand value that made its health center expansion possible. Incremental growth also allowed Edgewood Summit to carry out a legacy.
What began as a simple addition to an existing nursing home became a bridge to the future. Edgewood Summit would not have existed without the Arthur B. Hodges Center, and because of Edgewood Summit, the Arthur B. Hodges name will continue serving area seniors.