Kidron Bethel and Schowalter Villa discuss merger

10/07/2011 12:00 AM

10/07/2011 4:06 PM

Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton and Schowalter Villa in Hesston expect to merge their operations next year.

The boards of the two continuing care retirement centers approved a resolution to merge administrative operations and boards, resulting in a single management team and board.

They said a final decision on the merger will be made in the next few months. The merger could take place as early as Jan. 1.

The merger has been a topic of discussion by both boards since late last year because of "a continually changing and increasingly challenging health care environment, including anticipated reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments," the centers said in a news release.

"Fortunately, both Kidron Bethel Village and Schowalter Villa share very similar missions and sets of services," Schowalter CEO James Krehbiel said in the release.

Kidron employs 142 people and the Schowalter has 231 employees. Both are affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.

"By sharing resources, both our organizations can reduce overall operating costs, provide a wider range of quality services and secure a better future for residents of our communities," Kidron CEO Cindy Vanover said in the release. "In the ever-changing health-care market, joining together will dramatically improve our organizations' abilities to proactively address future resident and community needs."

If the centers' boards make a final approval, they would retain their individual names.

"Our goal is to build a more efficient organization that works to remain service-oriented, while keeping our costs as low as possible," Krehbiel said.

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