Officials say tightening economic conditions throughout the region, especially to Veteran’s Administration programs, caused the relocation to what has been a second but smaller facility.
Unexpected and significant budgetary cuts to the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) and its veterans’ health care programs for day care services caused executives with the Prescott SJRADC to make the decision to cease operations on June 2.
The parent Margaret T. Morris Center, which provides specialized assisted living to individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, is unaffected by the move.
Some clients at the day care center had been alerted about seven months ago that veterans would be notified of cuts from the VA. Then, in May, the VA notified them that henceforth, the VA would pay for no more than two days a week, and it would not pay for transportation to and from the center.
For 35 years, the popular Prescott-based health care facility had served individuals and families living in the immediate area. One staff member commented that the closing day at the Prescott center was “…bittersweet but filled with good memories.”
Yvonne Napolitano, executive director of the parent organization Adult Care Services, says that somewhere between 100 to 125 clients at the Prescott facility had been adversely impacted. Additionally, 15 staff members were dismissed with the center’s closing.
Despite the transition to the center at 3407 Windsong Drive in Prescott Valley, Napolitano says services have remained steady and constant. “Our facilities in Prescott Valley can accommodate up to 55 people daily. I assure everyone that our quality of service will provide a full range of medical and social activities in a comfortable and safe environment.”
Napolitano adds that the vision of the founder for providing passionate care for those in need will continue. She had helped the late Susan J. Rheem expand many of the facility’s programs. Now, as board president and executive director of Adult Care Services, Napolitano supervises programs and staff for both the Margaret T. Morris Center in Prescott and the Susan J. Rheem Center in Prescott Valley. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
For more information, visit www.adultcareservices.org/SJRContactUs.php.
Services previously provided by the Susan J. Rheem Center in Prescott now will be provided at 3407 N. Windsong Drive, Prescott Valley. Tightening economic conditions forced closure of the original center in Prescott.
Photo by Ray Newton