SULLIVAN — Dozens of residents will soon be displaced by the upcoming closure of a Sullivan nursing home on the east side of town.
Petersen Healthcare announced the closure of Mason Point Tuesday, effective September 12. The facility, which first opened in 1904, currently has 47 residents and 75 staff members.
“It’s a great disappointment to us,” said Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook, who described the closure as a loss for the community. “It’s a landmark that’s been with us for many, many years.”
The Peoria-based firm cites unsustainable, poor financial performance due to longstanding state reimbursement shortfalls. They also cite maintenance costs, current regulations, and pandemic-related staffing and labor shortages.
“For the long-term care industry, the regulations, there have been millions of dollars worth of pandemic-related fines,” said Dawn Stroup, corporate director of marketing and communications at Petersen Health Care. “That has become excessively burdensome for our industry.”
Petersen operates many nursing facilities throughout the Midwestern U.S. These include many across Central Illinois, including three other facilities in Sullivan.
The cost of maintaining Mason Point’s aging buildings and acres of land is becoming too expensive to manage.
“Despite the valiant effort of our staff, and the investment of upwards of $15 million through the years, we have not been able to make the facility financially viable,” said Greg Wilson, vice president of operations.
“The costs of maintaining the massive, aging physical plant — coupled with the very tough long-term care business environment in the state of Illinois — has become too great for us to absorb any longer,” Wilson continued.
Relocation planning for alternative placements underway
Stroup said that Petersen is assembling a relocation team to work with residents and their families to find alternative placements. Those meetings will continue until all placements are complete.
Mason Point employees will be able to transfer to other facilities owned by Petersen.
The closure will not impact the three other locations in Sullivan. Petersen owns Sullivan Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Eastview Terrace, and Courtyard Estates of Sullivan.
The history of Mason Point
Mason Point was opened in 1904 by the Grand Lodge of Illinois after Robert Miller left property to the Masonic organization. The facility would serve as a home for the indigent and their families.
For the many years that followed, it operated as the Illinois Masonic Home. offering apartments, duplexes, and nursing care for the elderly, both Masons and non-Masons.
In 2004, the facility was developing an assisted living program.
However, in 2008, the Grand Lodge of Illinois sold the facility amidst declining interest in people traveling across the state to live there. Petersen assumed operations of the facility in 2009.
No known future for Mason Point
Stroup said that Petersen is not making any final decisions regarding the future of the grounds. Any updates will be available, however, at a later date.
Glazebrook said some local officials are hoping to find parties interested in purchasing the property. In addition, they hope for new uses for the facility.
He adds that the city wants the grounds to benefit the community, even after the facility’s closure.
“It’s an old building,” he said. “Its days of glory are over.”
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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