Patriot living center closed

WINNEBAGO – The Patriot Assisted Living center has closed, confirmed Chris Knoll, administrator of Parker Oaks Communities, Inc.

The Patriot Assisted Living center was opened in 2011 by owners Jim and Kathy Birchem as a place where veterans could get help with day-to-day living activities in an environment geared toward their special needs as service members. It officially closed last week, Knoll said.

“It was a risk the owners were willing to take,” Knoll said of the venture. “Jim Birchem is a veteran himself; he wanted to give back to the veteran community and this was a way he thought he could do that.”

Closing the facility was strictly a financial decision due to lack of numbers, Knoll said.

“We didn’t have the census to financially maintain the building being open,” he said, adding only three veterans were living there.

“The individuals who were over there were moved to our assisted living here (Parker Oaks),” Knoll said. “It worked out well, we had three openings here and it was a smooth transition.”

Most of the staff came back to Parker Oaks, too.

“Some staff transitioned to our facility over here,” Knoll said. “Two individuals were laid off. They were good employees.”

The Birchems own facilities in Truman and Wells, and Knoll thinks the staff members might be absorbed into those care centers.

For now, the building in Winnebago will sit vacant.

“The ultimate goal is to reopen it as an assisted living someday,” Knoll said.

“The owners, Jim and Kathy Birchem, plan on keeping a presence in all three communities for senior living options for years to come,” he added.