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Wellspring nursing home closing abruptly in Milwaukee

Posted at 7:00 AM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 19:19:20-05

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee nursing home is closing its doors rather abruptly Thursday.

According to an employee with Wellspring of Milwaukee, the nursing home and its patients will be out by 3 p.m.

"I'm here to get my dad out of here," Alexis Williams said. "Moved to another facility. We're getting him in a better place and on with his life."

The closing isn't completely out of the blue. On Feb. 11, the nursing home sent a message to its 160 employees telling them they would be laid off and closing its doors "due to catastrophic unforeseeable business circumstances."

Initially, the nursing home set a tentative final day as April 12, giving the employees and residents a full two months to figure things out. However, four days after the letter was sent to employees, a pharmacy filed a court judgment against Wellspring and won more than $325,000. This is the third large settlement Wellspring has had in four years.

In 2015, Healthcare Service Group Inc. filed a suit against Milwaukee Healthcare LLC for $87,543.84. In 2017, AEGIS Therapies Inc. won a suit for $756,001.82. In total, the company has had to pay out $1,168,692.06.

Now, just over two weeks after the first notifications went out, the nursing home will shut its doors.

"It's pretty much a rush," Latrina Wallace said. "Deadline is supposed to be in April but just dropping this on us today, in the cold, is not really normal. But hey, stuff happens."

As families rush to find somewhere to place their loved ones, employees are left looking for work.

"It's a really big blow," one unnamed employee said. "You find out you have 90 to 120 days. You start looking for employment. We had some resources but to come in two weeks later and say, 48 hours, that's it. It's a blow."
The employee says management had a job fair for the employees at the Wellspring facility which she was grateful for. She does have other employment already but says some of her other colleagues aren't as lucky.

"Some people won't be able to pay their bills, won't be able to get groceries for their kids," she said.

An employee told TODAY'S TMJ4 the Department of Aging is expected to help in relocating the residents. Officials have not released a statement from Wellspring on the abrupt closure.