UnityPoint to Close New Horizons in 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - UnityPoint Health sold it its Living Center East building to the Catherine McAuley Center. Its move is leaving a couple dozen residents scrambling for what to do next now that they won't have a home.

"They've pretty much been discarded," said Pamela Clayton.

Clayton said her son, Angelo, has considered New Horizons home the past forty years, since he was six years old.

"It's just heartbreaking," said Clayton.

Her son was diagnosed with meningitis as a baby and has cerebral palsy. Now she worries about where she's going to move him next, after being used to the structured environment for so long.

"He does have visits home but he's always so happy coming back. It's all he's known for his home for most of his life and that's going to be taken away," said Clayton.

She said the closest place that may be a fit for his level of care is in Dubuque. It leaves the possibility for a bigger problem, like what happens when he has a seizure in the middle of night.

"If I get a call in the middle of the night in January in a blizzard and they tell me my son is very ill and they're taking him to the hospital he's going to be over an hour away," said Clayton.

UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids sent TV9 the following statement:

UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids will discontinue operations of New Horizons, our 26-bed, Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled (ICF/ID). New Horizons has been housed within St. Luke’s Living Centers East at 1220 Fifth Avenue, SE, in Cedar Rapids since the mid-1970s. This group living environment was designed to meet the needs of individuals with moderate to severe and profound disabilities that require nursing supervision and structure. The anticipated closure date is February 1, 2019 but services will continue until all residents have found placement in smaller, more home-like facilities that provide community integrated services.

“Our top priority is the care and smooth transition for our residents therefore, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids has contracted with an expert in ICF-ID services to assist with securing appropriate placement and facilitating each individuals' transfer to their new homes,” said Peg Brake, Vice President, Post-Acute Services at UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids.

We are closing New Horizons as we prepare to move the Skilled Nursing Beds (SNF) currently at St. Luke’s Living Center East to the new St. Luke’s Transitional Care Center on the North East side of Cedar Rapids, which was announced last fall. In addition, the Living Center’s East building has been purchased by Catherine McAuley Center and they will take possession in the Fall of 2019. Lastly, we are aware of the state’s preference and original intent for ICF-ID programs such as New Horizons to transition residents to a home-like setting environment rather than a group institutional living environment.