Groundbreaking kicks off work on memory facility

Benny Westcott

A July 27 groundbreaking ceremony launched the beginning of what will become a 48-bed memory-care facility at the Wiley Creek Senior Living campus.

The 29,165-foot, single-story facility, scheduled for completion in October 2023, will serve seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Salem-based Mosaic Management Inc. took over Wiley Creek operations from Samaritan Health last summer.

Mosaic President Doug Sproul called the event “a pretty important moment,” adding that the Wiley Creek campus would “be a thriving, independent assisted living and memory care community.”

“People who right now have to leave Sweet Home and go to Lebanon, Albany or Corvallis, will have these resources right here,” he added.

He noted that between 40 to 45 people will be working at the facility, bringing new employment opportunities to the area.

“They won’t be just entry-level jobs, but also executive director, nursing and dietary positions,” he said. “So, if you know anybody who’s looking for a job and is currently commuting, we’ll be hiring here in the next few months.”

He hoped that about 150 people would call Wiley Creek home within the next 12 to 18 months, crediting Samaritan Health for helping make a more fully realized campus a reality and for “making the investment and going through the arduous process of developing, building and managing a senior living community.”

“Everything starts with a dream and a vision,” he said. “Good Samaritan 20-plus years ago had a dream of building a campus out here and a vision. I want to acknowledge them for being the first one to have the vision of what could be out here at Wiley Creek.”

“This has been the best buyer-seller relationship I’ve ever had in 27 years in this business,” he continued. “It’s just a real cooperative group to work with. Being able to step in and kind of steal their vision and call it our own has been a great transition for us.”

Lebanon Samaritan Community Hospital CEO Marty Cahill credited Sproul in turn.

“We wouldn’t be here today without Sproul,” he said. “He didn’t steal the vision; he just took it and has advanced it.

“This event wouldn’t be happening today if it wasn’t for the folks at the Lebanon Community Hospital 30 years ago coming up with a vision for an idea around assisted living,” he continued. “I think the folks at Samaritan and Lebanon Community Hospital had a vision to have a multiphase approach. We started Phase One and just didn’t have the expertise to move it forward. I congratulate Sproul and his team on taking it forward. We’re going to have a very robust campus out here.

“The people that had the vision probably didn’t picture a memory-care unit here,” he added, “but it’s exactly what this community needs at this time.”

He noted that Mosaic was better equipped to run such a facility.

“I think that where [Mosaic] is going with this campus is a place that Samaritan couldn’t do,” he said. “We’re going to stay with our core competencies of integrated delivery of primary care and health care services. Our relationship with Mosaic is just the beginning of a long relationship to deliver great care in this community.”

Cahill noted that assisted-living and memory-care were two Sweet Home City Council priorities. He recalled how Samaritan worked with the city to create a more robust campus in the Wiley Creek area and advance primary care and other services locally.

“Mosaic, “he said, “is going to be able to deliver on that.”

“I think the future’s bright for Sweet Home,” he added, “and I think the future’s bright for Mosaic and Samaritan’s relationship, and it’s bright for the Wiley Creek community. People will be able to stay in this community when they get here from independent to assisted living, and now to memory care.”

Even more services should become available in the coming years, as Samaritan begins construction on an urgent care center adjacent to the memory care facility at the end of August.

“Our ability to have some services for healthcare on this campus will create a very robust campus and complete the vision that was started 30 years ago,” Cahill said.

“We’re really excited for Good Samaritan to be able to come in and build an urgent care center here,” Sproul said. “Communities change over time. Our vision is to come in and partner with the local communities and help them change for the better. Growth is part of what we do.”

“It’s an exciting day for our community,” Sweet Home Mayor Greg Mahler said at the ceremony. “One of the goals of our council is to improve the quality of life in this community, even though we have a great quality of life already. But this is a step in the right direction.

“I’m looking forward to working and partnering with Mosaic and Samaritan,” he added. “They do an awesome job, and you couldn’t have a better partner. I’m looking forward to this and everything else that’s coming to Sweet Home in the future.”