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May 18, 2017, marked an event the community of East Ridge, Tennessee, and surrounding areas had been anticipating for more than a year.

 

Life Care Center of East Ridge hosted its official VIP reception, followed by a community open house.

 

The new building glistened as more than 500 guests attended the two events, bringing back old memories and creating new ones for many. You see, this was not the first Life Care Center of East Ridge. The original building served the community for 40 years, opening in 1975 and becoming one of the original six buildings that Forrest Preston, current Life Care chairman, incorporated into Life Care Centers of America.

 

Life Care Center of East Ridge was completely rebuilt, from the ground up, to serve the needs of today’s seniors, and the opening reflected both the heritage of the skilled nursing and rehab center and the bright future that lies ahead of it.

 

Preston addressed the VIP audience of community leaders and spoke about his original vision for the building and the company.

 

Beecher Hunter, Life Care president, drew on the center’s history with a unique story, the legacy of Mary Denton. Denton, a resident at the original Life Care Center of East Ridge, is the lady in the wheelchair featured in Life Care Centers of America’s logo. She made an impact at the facility through her friendliness and hospitality to new residents. Joy Hambleton, who served as executive director when Denton was a resident, talked a bit about Denton as well.

 

Several local leaders shared their thoughts on the new facility and its impact, including Dr. Thomas Devlin, chairman of Erlanger Medical Center; Brent Lambert, East Ridge mayor; and Bo Watson, speaker pro tempore of the Tennessee Senate.

 

Life Care Center of East Ridge honored its first two residents as well – Dale Carter and Peggy Smith.

 

The community open house followed the VIP ceremony, and guests had the chance to take tours of the new building, meet the leadership team, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and sign up for door prizes. Each attendee also received a goody bag.

 

“It was a really positive open house, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves,” said Robert Hubbartt, executive director.

 

“We had a lot of great feedback,” said Christy Manis, business development director. “Everyone is very excited about East Ridge opening back up and serving the community once again.”

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