Today Pilgrim Manor operates 55 skilled nursing beds and 110 assisted living apartments on a 10-acre campus near downtown Grand Rapids.
The integration of the organizations will occur at the end of October. This means Pilgrim Manor will continue to operate under its own name but will become a fully owned subsidiary of United Church Homes. UCH will provide direct support to all aspects of Pilgrim Manor’s business enterprise, including accounting, marketing, human resources, and information technology services. Pilgrim Manor’s advancement and fund-raising initiatives, conducted through its foundation, will continue to seek donor support for its charitable activities.
“This is a ministry, a mission, and a culture with which we are extremely comfortable. It would have been difficult to join with anyone else,” said Karen Messick, executive director of Pilgrim Manor. “We share so much as organizations that it’s a near-perfect fit. This integration will ensure that we can continue to offer the services and care that people expect from Pilgrim Manor.”
Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of UCH, said, “Given the commonality of United Church Homes’ and Pilgrim Manor’s faith-based heritage within the United Church of Christ, the addition of Pilgrim Manor into the UCH family of communities is the epitome of a win-win situation. The integration enables Pilgrim Manor to continue to provide quality services to seniors in the Grand Rapids area while deriving efficiencies through the utilization of UCH resources.”
The addition of Pilgrim Manor also enables UCH to continue to realize its strategic goal of expanding its nonprofit mission in a geographic area that is ripe with further strategic opportunities. Following the integration, United Church Homes’ operating footprint will expand by approximately 10 percent. Rev. Daniel noted, “With Pilgrim Manor’s reputation for quality and its strong network of relationships around the region, we believe this venture will enable us to expand services in the greater Grand Rapids region.”
Pilgrim Manor traces its origins to 1955 when a dozen Grand Rapids area Congregational churches, most of which are now affiliated with the UCC, first conceived of building a senior care community. It opened in 1963 as an assisted living community for retired seniors, and later added skilled nursing services. Today Pilgrim Manor operates 55 skilled nursing beds and 110 assisted living apartments on a 10-acre campus near downtown Grand Rapids.
Members of Pilgrim Manor’s management team met with UCH leadership staff during the Centennial Celebration in July, where they received a warm and genuine welcome. “Spending time with the people from UCH has been amazing,” said Karen. “We’re looking forward to the vast network of skills, talented people, and support that UCH has, and are so thrilled to see that everyone associated with United Church Homes is so rooted in the mission. The commitment and the passion are almost tangible.”
Both UCH and Pilgrim Manor share relationships with the regional and statewide branches of the United Church of Christ and are members of its national Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA). Both Rev. Daniel and Ms. Messick serve on the National Non Profit Council of the AHCA. In addition, Ms. Messick sits on the board of the Health Care Association of Michigan.