Juneau’s nursing home will merge with Bartlett Regional Hospital

Wildflower Court is a non-profit, 57-resident long-term-care facility in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)
Wildflower Court is a non-profit, 57-resident long-term care facility in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

Bartlett Regional Hospital plans to take over operation of Juneau’s nursing home.

Wildflower Court is the second small care provider to be absorbed by the hospital recently because of a tough market for nursing staff.

The long-term care facility has struggled to hire and retain staff since spring of 2021. Later that year, the administration closed one wing of the nursing home because of the staff shortage. Wildflower Court is licensed for 61 beds, but now only 47 of them are full.

“Part of going with larger organizations is the depth of resources,” said Robert Rang, the interim administrator for Wildflower Court. 

He said Wildflower Court is the last independent nursing facility in the state – others are affiliated with local governments or bigger health care providers.

“We have challenges recruiting because we have a one-person HR department,” Rand said. “We don’t have the buying power that they have regarding supplies and equipment. And so all that stuff just starts cumulatively taking its toll.”

Rang said the board considered merger proposals from both Bartlett Regional Hospital and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC.

Bartlett spokesperson Erin Hardin said she thinks the hospital was selected because it’s next to Wildflower Court’s building. She said the hospital does not yet know when the merger will take effect.

“The next step will be to put together a transition team so that we have folks from both organizations at the table to start to map out what that plan and timeline will look like,” she said.

The hospital has pledged to retain Wildflower Court employees and said there will be no lapse in services for residents.

Claire Stremple

Alaska News Reporter, KTOO

I believe every Alaskan has a right to timely information about their health and health systems, and their natural environment and its management. My goal is to report thoughtful stories that inform, inspire and quench the curiosity of listeners across the state.

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