WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) – A Warsaw-based nursing home operator is likely leaving 19 campuses plus several other facilities across the state at the end of the month, which has many workers wondering whether they will have jobs and what might happen to residents at those facilities.
Early last month, Miller’s Health Systems, Inc. notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that it was terminating its leases with eight Miller’s Merry Manor campuses and that nearly 700 workers would no longer be employed by the company.
Letters obtained by WANE TV, though, show that leases at 19 of the company’s campuses – plus four assisted living buildings – are coming to an end.
That includes the facilities in Fort Wayne and Columbia City, which were not on the original list of eight.
The Miller’s Merry Manors in Huntington and Peru were on the original list. So, too, was the one in Indianapolis, though that one is not listed in the letters obtained by WANE TV.
“This letter is notice that your employment by Miller’s Health Systems, Inc. (“MHS”) will be terminated effective 6/30/2022, due to termination of the contract to operate/lease the facility you are employed,” reads one letter sent to employees by Miller’s CEO/President Patrick Boyle.
In the letter, Boyle notes the owner of the campuses is Highgate Capital Investments/Aurora Health Network, and that his company anticipated a new contractor would likely “hire most if not all the former MHS employees working at the facility.”
Calls to Boyle and Aurora Health Network were not returned Friday.
The letters obtained by WANE TV echo the language written in the notices Miller’s Health provided the department of workforce development.
Another letter to employees details how Miller’s Health originally owned the facilities before selling them in a deal where the company could lease the buildings back. Miller’s apparently tried to buy them back in 2017 but a price couldn’t be reached.
The COVID pandemic left the facilities caring for less patients, and Miller’s Health could no longer meet the terms of the leases at the 19 facilities under the current financial terms, according to another letter.
A notice to employees dated Wednesday said Highgate has yet to have a new operator under contract to run the facilities, leaving workers up in the air on whether they will have a job come July 1 when the leases expire.
“We don’t know if we have a new owner, we don’t know if we’re shutting our doors, we don’t know anything,” one Miller’s Merry Manor employee, who wished not to be named for fear of not having a job for speaking out, said.
That’s not to mention the residents in the facilities, who to the employee’s knowledge have not been notified formally about any change in ownership, management or staffing.
The list of Miller’s Health facilities terminating leases is below:
- Columbia City
- Fort Wayne
- Hartford City
- Wabash East
- Wabash West