Levering Managment, a local leader in senior care and senior living facilities in Knox County and surrounding areas for more than 50 years, has received recognition of its services from the local, state and national level.
“We’ve touched the lives of thousands of people over the years,” said William Levering, chief executive officer and president of the company.
Levering’s parents, Bruce and Joan Levering, started the company May 1, 1956, and opened Hillcrest Nursing Home in an area north of Fredericktown. They still sit on Levering Management’s board of directors.
Joan Levering said there were practically no nursing homes in the area in the 1950s. They saw a need, and believed the industry would develop in the future.
“My husband has always had a vision for the future,” she said.
Through a proclamation, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis recently honored the company for providing senior care and independent senior living services to local citizens, and for employing 200 residents of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
Bill Levering said the company employs over 600 people at its five facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities, a residential assisted living center and independent retirement living facilities in five counties.
Ohio Senate President Bill Harris also recently honored the company for having reached the prestigious milestone of 50 years of service to the area.
“Levering Management Inc. has earned the gratitude and appreciation of many, and its success is a justifiable source of pride and an outstanding reflection not only on the business itself but also on the astute managment of the Levering family, on their hard-working employees, and on the community,” Harris wrote.
The American Health Care Association, a national organization, also commended Levering Management on its 50th birthday in 2006. Bruce Levering, William Dunn and William Levering have served as elected national leaders of the association.
“Three generations of family members are actively involved in today’s business operations and have been recognized for their progressive development of senior living services in Ohio,” the AHCA letter states.
Bruce Levering also received the AHCA’s Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award in 2004.
In 1967, the Leverings opened Marion Manor Nursing Home in Marion. That was the year Dunn, the Leverings longtime friend, joined the company. Dunn is now the administrator at Marion Manor. In 1974, Levering Management opened Country Court Nursing Center on Coshocton Avenue, and in 1978, the company bought Morrow Manor Nursing Home in Chesterville. That was the year Bill joined the company, shortly after he graduated from Ashland University.
In July 1985, the Leverings opened the Delaware Court Healthcare Center in Delaware. The Living Center in Mount Vernon was opened in February 1986 in the old Martin Memorial Hospital building as a senior retirement community with 48 apartments.
Bill Levering said the company’s skilled nursing facilities are for individuals who have gotten out of the hospital and require some form of physical, occupational or speech therapy; assisted living centers are designed for people who have had a serious health event but still need assiststance; and a retirement living center is set up for seniors who are still able to drive to live on their own in a secured environment with social programs.
Other members of the Levering family are involved in the company. Bill’s younger brother, Ken Levering, joined the company in 1995 and is the administrator of the Delaware Court Healthcare Center and a shareholder. Bill’s sister, Cindi, is a registered nurse and is in charge of program development at The Living Center. Jeff Levering, another brother, is a shareholder.
Bill Levering said the company places great importance on community involvement. The Living Center is the host site for judging of the Junior Miss Scholarship Program, and also the location of the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival’s flower show. All of the facilities have Trick-or-Treat night for children. He said children and seniors bond as though they were grandchildren and grandparents. Local school classes also come in to The Living Center to celebrate the holidays.
Levering said Ohio State football players visit and interact with residents every summer. Players who have visited in the past include Steve Bellisari and Craig Krenzel.
Levering said he likes to think of everyone associated with the company as part of the same team. Darlene Yake, for instance, started working for the company over 25 years ago as a part-time, after-school dishwasher. She worked her way up, obtained a degree from the Mount Vernon Nazarene College and held several positions over the years. Yake is now the administrator of the Morrow Manor Nursing Center.
According to Levering, the company has a relatively high level of job retention.
“I could tell you story after story about staff members who have gone above and beyond for residents,” he said.
Joan Levering said that during the blizzard of 1978, the staff stayed at the facilties around the clock to care for residents. She also said the company has always stressed and encouraged education. All of the facilities have always been training sites for students in a variety of fields.
Bill Levering said the company offers scholarship programs for employees, geared mainly toward helping people become nurses. The company also has a number of programs in place to help seniors cope with and overcome health conditions, including the Healthy Heart Cardiac Care, Orthopedic Rehabilitation Therapy and Transitional Return to Home Therapy.
The healthy heart program provides care for patients who have recently left the hospital after an event like a heart attack. The staff involved helps educate the patients and their families about how to live successfully with the condition. Levering Management partners with Knox Community Hospital for the program.
Bill Levering said providing quality care for residents and patients is the company’s highest priority.
“For many people, we are like an extended family through our staff,” he said.