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Genesis Health System will partner with Johnston-based senior care WesleyLife to form a new organization to focus on providing care to older adults in the community.

The collaboration, announced Wednesday, will include building a new senior living care community in the Bettendorf area. While a site for the campus has not yet been selected, there are "several sites" where the organization has strong interest.

"When Genesis looks to partners, we look to four key areas: our common values, a commitment to quality, long-term financial viability and a commitment to a seamless and consistent transition," Glen Roebuck, Genesis' executive director of home, outpatient and senior living services, said Wednesday at a press conference. "WesleyLife certainly met all of the requirements, and has a great philosophical alignment with us at Genesis."

Roebuck said the new organization will leverage the strengths of both organizations, with WesleyLife being the managing partner. It will manage existing services at Genesis's Illini Restorative Care and Crosstown Square apartments as well as its Westwing Place campus in Dewitt. Due to the "unique needs" of the Genesis Senior Living Aledo community, it will continue to be operated by Genesis Health System.

"We have wanted to be in the Quad-Cities for a really long time, and there's just not been the opportunity for WesleyLife to come into the market until this was presented to us by Genesis," WesleyLife president and CEO Rob Kretzinger said Wednesday, saying they had been in talks for almost nine months. "And from the very beginning... there's been an instant connection around values, and values and culture are so important to us before we move forward in any market that we've been asked to. We've said no enough times that when we say yes, we really are fully committed."

Kretzinger told attendees that all employees and team members of Illini Restorative Care, Crosstown apartments and Westwing Place will be part of the new organization. Kretzinger ensured all team members would have the same pay, a "very comparable" benefits structure and will continue their same jobs.

WesleyLife will become the managing organization and begin overseeing the existing Genesis communities July 1, Kretzinger said. An ownership group partially owned by WesleyLife and Genesis and including local and WesleyLife governance has been formed; a name for the entity will be announced in the next few weeks. Kretzinger says they hope to announce the location by mid to late February, and the intention is to start construction before the end of the year.

Originally founded by the United Methodist Church in 1946, WesleyLife is an organization that serves the older adult market in Iowa. It offers eight communities for people 55 and older, as well as home health care and services, adult day services, nutrition, transportation, hospice care and public health nursing services.

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