Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries

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Diakon to end services at Pocono Lutheran Village

East Stroudsburg, Pa. (Friday November 16, 2012)
Pocono Lutheran Village

Leaders of Diakon Senior Living Services yesterday announced that Diakon will discontinue operations at Pocono Lutheran Village effective Jan. 14, 2013.

Diakon leadership members met with village residents and staff to discuss efforts to make the transition as painless as possible for everyone affected.

"We understand this has been a difficult message for everyone to hear," said Mark Pile, Diakon president and chief executive officer, "but please know that we did not make this decision hastily or without considerable deliberation. We have been working diligently for many years to make Pocono Lutheran Village a success. However, demand for personal care services in this region has never met initial expectations."

To deal with declining census, Diakon had closed the third floor of the building in anticipation of launching a new catered living-style program called Senior LivingPlus. "While we were able to acquire an initial number of depositors, doing so took longer than anticipated," Pile said, making the potential new service less viable.

In total, Diakon experienced a $4.6 million loss at the village from 2007 through September of this year, a result that could no longer be sustained, particularly in the current economic period.

Village residents have a variety of options, including transfer to other Diakon personal care communities if they wish and accommodations are available. Diakon is covering all moving costs related to transfer to another Diakon community or up to $2,500 per person for relocation to a non-Diakon community.

Diakon also is working with affected staff members for potential transfer to other Diakon communities. If relocation is not feasible, staff members receive severance packages and outplacement assistance among other benefits.

Diakon purchased the building, originally designed to be a nursing care center, in the early 2000s.

For further information, please contact:
William Swanger, M.A., APR
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
Office: (717) 795-0308
Cell: (717) 579-9913
E-mail: swangerb@diakon.org

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