Melissa Curry has been named chief executive officer for Methodist Village Senior Living, a facility embarking on a multi-million dollar expansion.
The announcement was made by the Board of Directors for the organization on Wednesday (Nov. 29). Curry has been serving as the site’s assisted living administrator.
“We are extremely excited to make this announcement and have Melissa move into this role,” said Phillip Bryant, Methodist Village board president. “She is passionate about senior living and ensuring quality care for our residents and patients. With her leadership, we’re confident that Methodist will continue to raise the bar when it comes to an enhanced continuum of care.”
Curry will oversee a $50 million-$60 million expansion of Methodist Village Senior Living, which recently broke ground on the first of three phases to include a 28-bed Assisted Living Center and a 17-bed Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit. The development is expected to be completed in early 2019.
“I am both excited and honored to be chosen by our Board to lead this special organization, especially during a time of unprecedented change and growth in our industry. We have an amazing team at Methodist consisting of our residents, employees, board of directors and business partners, and with their help I am looking forward to furthering our bright future together,” said Curry.
The first phase is estimated to cost $15 million. The campus redevelopment will become a complete continuum of care “Life Plan Community,” including a new 145-bed care center and 80 independent living residences. The entire project will serve more than 270 residents and the region as a whole through outreach efforts, creating new jobs, and increasing the site’s existing employment base to over 200 by the time it reaches completion.
Methodist Village’s expansion of services will result in the full-time equivalent of 27 new jobs and an additional $1 million in payroll (combined salary and benefits) to the Fort Smith region, an average of about $37,000 per employee. That is a projection that looks out to 2020, which will be the facility’s first year of stabilization. It does not count the construction jobs that will be created during buildout stages.
CURRY, METHODIST VILLAGE BACKGROUND
Curry joined Methodist Village in 2016 from the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she held the role of director of special events. Prior to that she was director of special events and program coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association in Fort Smith.
She began her career as client services director for Landmark Ministries/Legacy Heights & Memory Lane in Van Buren. She has completed advanced dementia training from The Copper Ridge Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She holds several other licenses including as an Arkansas Assisted Living Administrator, Alzheimer’s Arkansas Support Group Facilitator, and Alzheimer’s Association Support Group Facilitator.
Curry was a 2016 graduate of Leadership Fort Smith, committee member for the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House Wine & Roses event, is a board member of the Noon Exchange Club, and a past member of the Alzheimer’s Association Leadership Council.
Construction of Methodist Nursing Home began in 1960 with the first resident arriving on March 19, 1961. In 1975, “The Village” – independent living retirement apartments – were added to the 27-acre site at Euper Lane. About 80% of residents are female and more than 50% are considered “low income” by federal guidelines.
Starting in 1974, the site began a 40-year mortgage with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agreement concluded in 2014, enabling Methodist Village to push through with the Life Plan Community concept. Fundraising efforts are ongoing, but it has received a $1 million challenge gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Miller Family Foundation contingent on $2 million of independent fundraising.
The site provides skilled nursing services, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapies to assist with recovering from surgery, an illness, or in the treatment of complex medical conditions. In addition to the employment numbers, the organization has 200 volunteers.