The 2014 Senior Housing News Summit took place July 17 in Chicago. The third annual event kicked off with a “Skilled Nursing 2.0” panel, which included Zeke Turner, CEO and founder of Mainstreet.

Turner joined John Morgan, CEO of Avamere Health Services, and John Taylor, President and CEO of StoneGate Senior Living, on the panel. Clint Malin, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of LTC Properties, moderated the discussion.

Turner led off the panel by explaining how Mainstreet’s goal has evolved from building a better long-term care facility eight years ago to building Next Generation® transitional care facilities and high-quality, innovative long-term care properties today. He emphasized the strong need for both products in today’s market.

The traditional long-term care industry is mostly “functionally obsolete” in Turner’s eyes because facilities built 40 or more years ago are no longer viable in today’s market. Turner explained how Mainstreet is different in building “beautiful, innovative and transformative” properties, which include private rooms and bathrooms, high-quality restaurants, pubs, movie theaters, hair salons, putting greens and more. 

Turner then went on to talk about the importance of transitional care in the market today. “Transitional care is not just senior care,” he said. “While it serves a large senior care population, it also serves many others.”

He told a meaningful story about a resident who moved into a Mainstreet transitional care facility toward the end of his life. After a short stay there, this man told his relatives how great it was to be at a luxury resort and how he felt like he was on vacation. “His family had a chance to create wonderful memories at the end of life. This motivates us to do what we do,” Turner said.

He explained how the long-term care product works with the transitional care one in a hub-and-spoke model. “For every transitional care facility we build, we might build three or four long-term care properties to work in concert with each other,” Turner said. “When patients leave the hospital, they will go to a transitional care facility. While some will return home, others will move to long-term care.”

Toward the end of the panel Turner was asked how Mainstreet assesses the type of product to build. He explained that Mainstreet has created a sophisticated, proprietary model for site selection which assesses not only ideal locations, but also helps operators determine the type of product to build. Important elements of site selection can include total discharges, Medicare discharges per zip code, population growth and the potential for hospital alignments. Mainstreet partners with high-quality operators to develop long-term strategic plans about what to build, where and when.

Turner rounded out his time on the panel by announcing that Mainstreet intends to build at least 35 new facilities in seven different states in 2015, truly making Mainstreet the largest and most active developer in the space. 

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