County nursing home buyer now controls two others in Champaign

County nursing home buyer now controls two others in Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN — One of the new owners of the former Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana now also owns majority shares in two other nursing homes in Champaign.

William "Avi" Rothner and some members of the Rothner family now own most of the former Helia Healthcare of Champaign at 1915 S. Mattis Ave., C, and the former Heartland of Champaign at 309 E. Springfield Ave., C.

The former Heartland sold for nearly $1.4 million in December and was renamed Champaign Living Center the same month, according to county and state records.

The former Helia Healthcare was sold in May 2018 for $1.4 million. The state license transfer and new name, Champaign Rehab Center, became official April 1, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The sale, license transfer and new name for the former county nursing home, now called University Rehab Center, were also finalized April 1.

Rothner, founder and president of Evanston-based Altitude Health Services, owns 50 percent of the former county nursing home, according to state records. The names of the other owners aren't available because the state doesn't require owners with less than 5 percent shares to be identified, according to public health department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.

Rothner owns 63.7 percent of each of the two Champaign nursing homes that were recently sold, with other family members jointly owning about another 20 percent of each.

The official buyers of all three of the nursing homes in Champaign-Urbana are recently formed corporations co-managed by Rothner at the same Evanston address as Altitude Health Services.

Rothner declined to talk about future plans for the two Champaign nursing homes Friday.

He did, however, say some new equipment has already been bought for the former county nursing home in Urbana and improvements are planned to make that property more user-friendly for residents, their families and the staff.

Rothner declined to go into detail about improvement plans for that facility.

"I think people will see that we will have improved the facility both on the inside and outside, where it's obvious and not so obvious," he said.

Nick Bilotta, administrator of the 118-bed Champaign Rehab Center (formerly Helia), said the ownership and name have changed and "the plan is to keep it up and running."

Dawn Job, administrator of what is now Campaign Living Center (formerly Heartland), said that 102-bed facility currently has 45 residents and is providing "business as usual."

Asked about future plans for this facility, she said, "nothing has been discussed with me."

Rothner, who founded Altitude Health Services in 2011, owns shares in 16 nursing homes in Illinois, including the three in Champaign-Urbana.

Before it was sold, the former Helia Healthcare of Champaign paid more than $80,000 in fines to the state last year for violations leading to three resident deaths, among them the Dec. 30, 2017, death of a resident who wandered outside on a bitterly cold night.

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