William Avi RothnerFriends and colleagues have been suggesting to me that I put together a letter about me, our facilities, and how we operate so that you can get a better sense of me and my company.  My father has been in the healthcare arena for over 40+ years and I joined him 12 years ago.  As a family business, we own and operate a large number of facilities across several states.  We have worked with all manner of sellers including non-profits, mom and pops, regional and super-regional operators, REITs, and publicly traded healthcare companies. We have focused on “value added” projects and in working with sellers that know we “say what we do and do what we say”.

My family has always focused on the betterment of the communities that we live in, work in, and love.  I saw my that my father’s extraordinary commitment to the facilities that he owned and operated swelled way beyond taking care of residents, families of residents, and employees.  He was always helping the community with a constant unwavering devotion and financial support in many philanthropic endeavors.  He instilled that in me, ingrained it in me really, and it became almost a part of my DNA. It is who I am.  My ambition is fueled by helping people in any way I can.  The more lives I can impact the better.

I have seen success make people selfish and that troubles me. My success is completely intertwined with all the people I am involved with.  This concept crystallized for me in a parking lot in Lincoln, Nebraska where I saw rows and rows of employees cars parked.  It hit me that a lot of car payments, and by extension, lives, and hopes and dreams were riding on me, and my success was in turn, riding on them. If my facilities are profitable, employees could buy food, pay their mortgages, and save for college.  With profit, I could inject capital into our properties and our people and create new employment.  Together, we could strengthen families, build communities, and change lives.  In succeeding, our residents, employees, and family members will do well as individuals. In that culture shift, we realize that by collectively making a difference for something larger than the individual, we are also helping our individual selves. That is the virtuous cycle.

In Arizona, it all started with the purchase of Devon Gables Health Care Center, from a family owned and operated entity.  It already had the environment that I was looking for.  It was a long standing part of the Tucson landscape having been founded in 1964.  It had tons of long term employees who had been there for 20-30+ years who were there because they loved what they did.  Included is its administrator who has been working in the building for over 30 years starting her career as a dietary aide.  It was focused on “resident directed care”.  The needs of the residents both clinically and personally were being diligently worked on by all the staff.  They were geared to give residents every opportunity to maintain a high quality of life while functioning at their maximum level of independence.  As a building with 312 skilled beds and 42 independent/assisted living units I knew that we could handle a wide range of needs, but I wanted to do more.  Once we acquired the building, we were able to integrate new technologies and clinical practices and equipment to enhance the experience for both residents and staff at the newly named Devon Gables Rehabilitation Center.

Our acquisition and transition of Posada Del Sol was quite a different undertaking.  Although I had done it before in Nebraska, buying a building from the county came with its own set of challenges. That being said, I had a different goal in mind this time.  I wanted to try and help the most-vulnerable of residents.  The ones no one else would take, because it was too hard, too costly, or they just simply didn’t want to.  I wanted the people with ventilators, tracheotomies, paraplegics, and amputees and even tough behavioral issues to have the best clinical care and environment I could provide.  But, a county building that was licensed at 196 beds reduced its license by over 40 beds because it just wasn’t working.  When we purchased it in 2012 and renamed it Foothills Rehabilitation Center I knew we had our work cut out for us.  The clinical care had to come first and that meant this building needed to have a clean backdrop.  The county employees needed to believe in their building.  This wasn’t just some county job, this was going to be a place that provided a warm and nurturing climate.  We raised the nurse to patient ratios, set up individual units with specialized care, and made sure we had only the best skilled staff for each unit.  Clinically speaking, the results came though gradually, so it was time to make sure that residents and families had some modernized spaces.  We created a café like ambience in the center of the buildings large vaulted ceiling rotunda by having a nice snack bar.  We set up a new theater and game room with a comfy leather chairs.  We have fully remodeled one wing that specializes in respiratory care, and are working on the other clinically complex unit as we speak.