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Area business owner will lend a hand in patient transfers

Liberty Group CEO Dan Klingerman said he is definitely on board to help assist in the plan to transfer patients from a nursing home where the coronavirus has infected patients and personnel.

“We were made aware of the difficult position families are put in when determining what options are available to relocate a family member who is in a nursing facility but has not tested positive for COVID-19,” Klingerman said. “We have an employee in our organization who is struggling with this very issue. As soon as we heard lodging is one of the biggest challenges, we knew our hotels were perfectly situated to help.”

This week, Lycoming County commissioners were approached by Center for Independent Living officials to allocate $250,000 to assist in the plan to transfer patients from ManorCare Jersey Shore to a hotel.

Commissioners have not acted on that request.

Klingerman said details are still being worked out.

ManorCare officials have come out in opposition to the plan.

“Lycoming County and the surrounding communities have always supported us, so we knew it was our time to help as well,” Klingerman said. “Our organization also owns nursing facilities so we have a complete understanding of the challenges skilled nursing operators face. We are in this together and there’s no doubt the health and safety of elderly residents are everyone’s top priority during this pandemic.”

Klingerman said the plan calls for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund lodging costs with Liberty Group covering any shortfall.

His company, he added, will provide three meals per day at no charge to those residing in hotels.

“We’ve already notified staff at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery and Scorz, at the Liberty Arena, of the need to provide meals to the residents,” he said. “Everyone is ready and excited to help.”

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