Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices Announces Affiliation

LEBANON, OH – The board of directors of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices today announced an affiliation with Franklin United Methodist Community, located in Franklin, Indiana.  Both are senior care ministries related to the United Methodist Church.

In making the announcement Jill Wilson, president and CEO of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices said “We are very pleased that Franklin Community has joined our family of senior care providers. While we weren’t actively looking to expand, our board could not pass up the opportunity to affiliate with such a well-run operation.  We believe the synergies of our faith-based organizations blend very well and contribute greatly to continued excellent care for the residents and working experiences for the employees.

Franklin Community Executive Director Keith Van Deman said, “Our board has been looking for the best way to assure the long-term viability of our Community and this is it.  Otterbein is clearly one of the premier senior care providers in the nation that aligns best with us culturally and philosophically.  The fact we are both United Methodist ministries and Otterbein is based only two hours away are added bonuses.”

According to Van Deman, even large single site communities like Franklin are vulnerable today due to constant changes in senior care - rising costs of health care, increased government regulations, reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and new competitors. Van Deman said that the affiliation with Otterbein gives Franklin a number of advantages for future success.  These include a vision for and strategic plan to reposition the Community with greater access to capital, which provides the opportunity for increased investment in the 120-acre campus. He said by joining forces with a large, multi-site entity, Franklin can increase its resources and purchasing power which ultimately leads to providing enhanced facilities and excellence in care.

Wilson went on to say “Members of the leadership teams and the respective boards of directors from both ministries spent the last several months getting to know one another and evaluating the professional skills sets, the mission and vision of each ministry, and - equally important to both teams, the culture and people alignment within the organizations. We took time and effort to determine if we really fit together and if the two ministries, once affiliated, could yield results for our residents and partners (employees) and the local communities we serve better than either of us could do independently. Our answer was a very loud and clear – yes, we can! The affiliation agreement was signed on July 25th, 2017; and will become effective in the next couple of months.”

In the affiliation, Otterbein will become the sole owner of the combined ministry, however in keeping with the standard already in place with all Otterbein “communities” Franklin will continue to retain the current staff, leadership team, local board of directors, and balance sheet; but now with support from a home office support team to create leverage for sales, marketing, communications, financial analyses, strategic planning, and so on.

As published by the Indiana resident bishop in his welcome letter to the recently held Indiana United Methodist Annual Conference this year – Together, we are more!

Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices is a faith-based non-profit health and human services ministry related to the East Ohio and West Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Otterbein has five full-service retirement communities, nine skilled nursing and rehabilitation neighborhoods, a home health agency, and hospice care; located throughout Ohio.

Franklin United Methodist Community is a faith-based, non-profit Life Plan Community related to the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and located in Franklin, Indiana. Carrying out the mission to provide a retirement experience filled with well-being and wholeness, it employs over 400 staff members.