New Castle News

November 13, 2013

Golden Hill sold to Butler nursing care company

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Golden Hill Nursing Home is changing hands after 48 years in the nursing home business.

Its owner, William F. DeCarbo Jr., and its administrator, Louise Scocchera, are retiring.

The business has been bought by Quality Life Services of Butler.

DeCarbo, president of Golden Hill, said yesterday that the company is expected to take over the long-term nursing care operations at 520 Friendship St. in February. He noted that state approval is needed to grant a new license for the home.

The new company is expecting a January closing on the sale of the 204-bed facility.

Golden Hill opened in December 1965. DeCarbo, 70, says it’s time to turn it over to someone else.

Quality Life Services, owned by the family of Steven Tack, has been in the nursing care business for 40 years. The company has nursing homes in five counties in western Pennsylvania. Several are continuing care retirement communities, some with different levels of care, but all are primarily nursing homes, Tack said yesterday.

According to DeCarbo, the time for change came due to changing times with new regulations, new technology and electronic charting, “and we have to keep up with everything. These things require a lot of energy. Louise and I felt it’s time to turn it over to someone with many more resources than we have.”

Scocchera has worked at Golden Hill Nursing Home for more than 40 years.

The decision of who would buy Golden Hill was carefully considered, DeCarbo said.

“I’ve had a couple of inquiries a week from people looking to invest in nursing homes for a bottom line draw,” he explained. “I never would have turned it over to investors like that.”

The Tack family has run a good operation, he said, adding, “I’m very comfortable with turning the nursing home over to them, rather to investors.”

The home’s administration sent letters to all 175 of its residents’ families and met with the 200 employees, notifying them of the impending change, DeCarbo said.

The transfer calls for the resignations of all of the employees from Golden Hill, and plans are for the Tack family to rehire them, he said.

“They’ve assured me they’re going to rehire everybody who works for me now,” DeCarbo said.

As for his future plans, “I’m going to retire, but I’m not going to go sit on my porch. I have other interests that I want to pursue and develop.”

Those might include real estate development with past partners, he said.

DeCarbo said he has had a lot of back-patting about how he has run the nursing home facility. He credits that to his father, the late William F. DeCarbo, who ran the family’s funeral home business.

“I grew up in the funeral business,” he said, “and my father was always ‘serve, serve, serve.’ That is the philosophy I have had during the years. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for people who come in here.”

“When people are admitted, there’s no question they’re in very big trouble, and it’s been my philosophy to help them as much as I could.”

Since the announcement, no residents have expressed a desire to move out, he said.

“They are not very happy that I’m leaving, and I take that as a high compliment.

“We look forward to continuing the longtime tradition that the DeCarbo family has spent a long time building in New Castle,” Tack said. “The reputation they have is one we want to continue to build off of. It’s a privilege and honor that Mr. DeCarbo has selected us to turn over something as precious to him as Golden Hill, and we do not take that lightly.”

Tack said Quality Life Services is looking forward to remodeling and updating the facility.

Mary Susan Yurek, a partner in the business, noted that the company plans to upgrade the building’s appearance, purchase new resident bedroom furniture and give it a fresh look.

Regarding the staff, Tack said, “I can tell you that with very, very small exceptions, we have always retained all the current employees, because no one knows those residents better than the people who have been caring for them.”

“Those are years of longevity we can’t do without,” Yurek said.