Edgewood Summit: Filling a Gap in Aging Services

| August 28, 2012

Upon his death in 1971, Arthur B. Hodges left $572,115 to West Virginia’s Greater Kanawha 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. When the Hodges Center began exploring the possibility of a new community they engaged Greystone to begin planning.

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 Beginning

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.

A Need for Skilled Nursing

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.

A New Health Center

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.

Edgewood in Increments 

  • 1990: Edgewood Summit incorporates as a non-profit organization.
  • 1993: Construction of Phase I begins, including 90 IL and 40 AL.
  • 2001: Phase II opens, including an additional 37 IL and new
    commons areas.
  • 2006: Bonds are issued to refinance those from 1999 that funded
    Phase II.
  • 2012:
    Edgewood Summit has begun construction
    of Phase III. This expansion will complete the continuum by adding 18 memory
    support units and 20 skilled nursing beds.