Pioneer Place may close nursing home wing in Vale

VALE – The only nursing home south of La Grande may be forced to close because of escalating costs, government regulations and low resident numbers.

That was the message Tom Hathaway, skilled nursing administrator for Pioneer Place, delivered Thursday.

“It’s tough. You have to have the revenue to cover the costs,” said Hathaway.

Pioneer Place is a government entity that furnishes skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation services. A five-member board of local residents oversees Pioneer Place. The facility is funded by a local taxing district but by law that money can’t be used for operating expenses. 

Hathaway said the skilled nursing – or nursing home – and rehabilitation arms of Pioneer Place lost more than $500,000 last year. That kind of financial hit can’t continue, he said.