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Published: Wednesday, 1/24/2001

Sisters of St. Francis buy facility in Sylvania

A Sylvania nursing home fined last year after the death of a child there is under new ownership.

SunBridge Care & Re–habilitation at 4111 Holland-Sylvania Rd. was sold Nov. 1 to the nonprofit Franciscan Services Corp., an organization formed by the Sisters of Saint Francis. The facility is now known as the Franciscan Care Center. Franciscan officials declined to discuss terms of the sale.

Nursing home administrator Jeff Orlowski said a building-wide renovation planned for this year will include adding a chapel and converting all rooms to private or semiprivate status. He said the staff of 70-member staff probably will grow.

Mr. Orlowski said the nursing home has seen an increase in admissions. He said the 99-bed facility, less than half full under SunBridge, has about 60 residents with more expected.

Last month SunBridge was found guilty of a felony charge of child endangerment for the death of a 9-year-old girl in 1999. The girl had been hit by a car and admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation.

Prosecutors said home employees failed to monitor the girl's breathing properly. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Bowman fined SunBridge $15,000, the maximum allowed by the law. SunBridge faces a civil lawsuit in the case.

The Franciscan Care Center is the first nursing home in the Toledo area to be owned by the Sisters of Saint Francis. The nuns, based in Sylvania, also own hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes in Sandusky; Steubenville, Ohio, and Bryan and Brenham, Texas.

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