Willow Brook at Delaware Run, located at 100 Delaware Crossing West near Houk Road in Delaware, is set to unveil a new wing on Thursday, May 17. The Christian assisted and transitional living community will cut the ribbon on the new addition at an open house beginning at 5 p.m.
Food will be served and the Charlie Foxtrot Quartet will serenade guests as tours of the new wing are given. The event will be held in conjunction with the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce.
The $6 million, three-and-a-half-story project began in October 2016 and will add an additional 26 rooms and suites for assisted living, including six two-room suites, as well as six apartments for transitional living. Previously, 4o assisted living room and suites were available, with nine transitional living apartments. Those totals now stand at 66 and 15, respectively.
Larry Harris, CEO of Willow Brook Christian Communities, said the transitional living apartments are for those folks who are “in the twilight zone,” meaning they are not able to live completely independent, but also don’t need the full-blown services they would get in assisted living.
In addition to the new living space, Dr. Peter Hucek of Central Ohio Geriatrics will open a practice in the new wing, as will Blue Sky Therapy, which offers outpatient physical, speech and occupational therapy. Both offices will be open to the general public as well.
“Willow Brook is a really respected organization in central Ohio … Delaware County is underserved from the standpoint of available physicians who are willing to take care of geriatric and Medicare patients,” said John Weigand, president of Central Ohio Geriatrics. “We saw this as being a great opportunity to partner with an outstanding organization and hopefully bring a level of care that will benefit the people that live there in Delaware.”
Tim Burkam, vice president of Blue Sky Therapy and a Delaware native, said, “We have been working with the Willow Brook communities for many years now, and we are very excited to be able to offer a full outpatient compliment of rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy, not only to the Delaware Run community but to the entire community of Delaware … (Delaware) is near and dear to my heart.”
Blue Sky Therapy is expected to open on May 23, while Hucek’s office is shooting for an early summer opening.
Harris said the decision to add the new wing came about based on two different factors.
“First of all was the push from our assisted living folks that we are basically sold out, have been for some time, and there just was a need for additional assisted living,” he said. “We don’t build anything on spec. It’s always in response to the needs that we see among the people we serve and those who want to be served; those out in the community who want to come to Willow Brook.
“The other compelling motivation was that we had the desire to bring a physician’s office and an outpatient therapy office to this campus to serve not only the needs of our residents but also the greater Delaware community.”
Rooms have already begun to fill, and Harris predicts they will quickly fill 10 of the assisted living rooms and will have the entire wing sold out by the end of the year.
Asked if the addition of more assisted living accommodations was a sign of things to come, Harris said, “The older adults are a growing segment of our population, certainly in Delaware County … there are projections to grow significantly in the next decade or two, so I think the need is growing.”
With the new wing complete, Harris said the Delaware Run campus is now complete, but he did say Willow Brook would entertain the notion of adding another site in the Delaware area if the need continues to grow.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.