Dr. Kate Convalescent Center Ownership Transferred to Avanti Health Systems


WOODRUFF, WI--Howard Young Health Care officially transferred ownership of the Dr. Kate Convalescent Center to Avanti Health Systems on July 1, 2008. The transfer agreement is the final step in a lengthy process of working together to insure that high quality long term care will be maintained in the community for the long term.

"The leadership and board from Howard Young Health Care explored a number of alternatives to providing quality long-term care services in the Lakeland region before coming together with Avanti Health Systems," stated Susan Pukall, Chair of the Howard Young Health Care Board of Directors. "We believe Avanti will continue to provide the highest quality program in the community and work for what is best for everyone."

The project moved forward over the past year on several fronts. In meetings with members of the Minocqua Planning and Zoning Committee last fall, Avanti reviewed proposed plans and sought input for the site plan. They secured property on Highway 70 West and developed site plans, sought state approvals, and met with town and county officials in order to ensure continued progress.

Most recently, Avanti was granted approval for a conditional use permit allowing them to begin construction of a new facility that will become the home for current and future residents.

The proposed new facility will be state of the art, offering a full range of services including physical, speech, and occupational therapy. The modern design of the building will allow residents generous space for their personal and medical needs. The 72-bed facility will feature many private rooms with private bathrooms. "Our new facility will have a residential look and feel," stated Lawrence, Kutz, owner of Avanti Health Systems. "The design blends with the natural surroundings of the property in a pleasing appearance that residents and families value."

"With the transfer of ownership, Avanti assumed total responsibility for operating the current site as well as construction of a new facility," stated Brian Kief, Ministry Health Care Northern Region CEO. "We are pleased that the work we have done has led to this point in the process as it insures that a high quality program will continue to be available in our community."

"We are excited to be an integral part of this community, as an employer and as a health care provider," stated Lawrence Kutz. "Most of the Dr. Kate's staff have become members of the Avanti team and we are delighted that they wanted to continue with the program," noted Joe Simonich, Vice President for Avanti. "Diane Pieniazek will continue in a leadership role as part of the care team."

Avanti Health Systems employs over 1200 people in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and has been operating skilled nursing facilities for over fifty years. With five nursing facilities, two home health agencies, and a durable medical equipment and oxygen company, Avanti plays an integral role in overall health care in Northern Wisconsin. Avanti is a family owned and operated business which allows that personal touch with all of the related Avanti Entities.

Howard Young Medical Center was founded as Lakeland Hospital in 1954 through the efforts of Dr. Kate Newcomb and extensive community support. In 2001 the hospital became affiliated with Ministry Health Care as part of Ministry's commitment to meeting the health care needs of residents in central and northern Wisconsin. Ministry Health Care was founded by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, who have sponsored health care in the region for over 115 years. Ministry's mission as a Catholic health care system is to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well-being of all people, especially the poor, in the communities we serve.

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