River Hills West Health Center to shut down, 144 workers to lose jobs

PEWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported on Tuesday, March 8th that Five Star Quality Care, Inc. intends to permanently close its River Hills West Healthcare Center in Pewaukee.

The closure will affect 144 employees beginning no sooner than May 3rd.

DWD will work the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Area to offer Rapid Response services to affected employees.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Dislocated Worker Program provides transition assistance to workers and companies affected by permanent worker layoffs. The Program's local Rapid Response Teams help companies and worker representatives develop and implement a practical transition plan based on the size of the layoff event. Types of services include:

    Workers affected by permanent layoff may also access basic re-employment services at no charge through the state's Job Centers. Some services, including training assistance, may be an option for some workers after enrolling in one or more of DWD's workforce development programs. While all companies faced with permanent worker layoffs are encouraged to seek assistance from the local Rapid Response Teams, some companies may be required to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing under federal and/or state law.

    More information about advance notice requirements is available at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/.

    Below is a statement from the interim administrator at the River Hills West Healthcare Center regarding the closing of the senior living facility:

    Five Star Quality Care, Inc. announces with regret that it has notified the Wisconsin Department of Health Services of its decision to close River Hills West, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility located in Pewaukee.  The decision to close the facility was based on the age of the physical plant and the newly built competition in the area. This was an extremely difficult decision to make.

    Five Star is taking all appropriate steps to notify residents, families and staff of the decision to close the facility.  Guided by state and federal guidelines, Five Star is working closely with residents and family members to locate appropriate alternative long term care providers.  A regional management team is in place on site and will provide additional support to residents, families and employees.  Local and regional management will work in partnership with residents and families to ensure the transition of every resident to an appropriate alternative location.  The safety and security of residents is our foremost priority.

    The facility will remain open until all residents are transferred, and it is no longer accepting new residents.

    Five Star Quality Care, Inc., based in Newton, Massachusetts, operates over 260 senior living communities.