Historic McKenna Care Center Shuts Down

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After 67 years as a nursing facility of some sort, McKenna’s Nisqually Valley Care Center closed its doors behind its final patient last week.

Employee Carla Leiter said she put her head together with another employee, and they figured out that the home opened in 1951. 

The facility was on its last legs for many years, says Scott Hale of Symmetry Healthcare — he was brought in to oversee the nursing facility’s closure.

According to Hale, Nisqually Valley Care Center was hemorrhaging $50,000 to $70,000 a month and was in an aging building that was at risk for flood damage.

According to the Pierce County Assessor Office, the building was built in 1930. 

Once all is said and done, Hale said the building will be boarded up for structural reasons, then placed on the market. 

Sound Care, the care center’s parent company, put it on its current course a couple years ago.  The company wanted to sell its three remaining care centers.

University Place in Tacoma sold last year, but both Nisqually Valley Care Center and Bainbridge Island’s Messenger House Care Center could not sell. Like Nisqually Valley, Messenger House was also shut down.

Hale said that closing Nisqually Valley Care Center was a unique experience, because the staff were so helpful and found all the residents new homes.

“What made it such a positive situation in such a difficult time was the staff,” he said. “It really had to do with the people there, with the employees and the residents.”

The residents had nothing but good things to say about the staff and facility that became their home, Hale said.

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