Columns for The Lufkin News

PineCrest has Far-reaching Economic Impact

Posted Nov 03, 2015 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Mayor Bob Brown, City Manager Keith Wright, Chamber CEO Jim Johnson and other local government and business leaders recently launched a series titled Business is Everyone’s Business. The purpose of this initiative is to highlight local businesses and remind us not only of their economic impact but also the importance of our community support.

I recently asked the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office to provide me with updated statistics on the contribution of the healthcare sector to our local economy, and I was startled at the findings. Employment in the healthcare industry in Angelina County grew from 7,091 FTEs in 2005 to 8,411 in 2014. In 2014, 23 percent of all jobs in Angelina County were in the healthcare industry (up from 20 percent in 2013). In 2013, the healthcare industry accounted for $401,447,145 or 13 percent of the gross regional product in Angelina County. Angelina County truly is the healthcare hub of our deep East Texas region.

Within the healthcare industry, there are the major employers we all know about, like CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial (1200 employees), Woodland Heights Medical Center (580 employees) and the Burke Center (400 employees throughout East Texas). There are myriad small businesses providing pharmacy, home health, hospice, and various diagnostic and therapeutic services to our region. We also have a number of nursing, rehabilitation and long term care facilities, one of which I want to feature today.

PineCrest, part of Methodist Retirement Communities, is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community offering independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and home health. Open since 1992 and located on 55 acres, PineCrest employs 220 people with an annual payroll of $6 million (mostly to Angelina County residents) and an additional spend of $3 million going to physical plant operations, utilities, contractors, and others.

Much more than a nursing home, PineCrest has 82 residential apartments, 36 patio homes, 21 assisted living apartments, 40 memory care units, and 51 skilled nursing units with 19 of those dedicated to transitional rehab. PineCrest also has on-site banking, full-service dining, a bistro, grocery store, library, chapel, beauty salons, a wellness center, and even a large auditorium to hold banquets, seminars, or private parties.

According to Amy Thomas, Executive Director at PineCrest, they currently serve around 237 residents, which include those with spouses. PineCrest is constantly reinvesting in our local community with ongoing renovations. PineCrest residents also contribute to the local economy as any of our county residents would, whether dining out, going to the grocery store, shopping, buying gas, attending Angelina Arts Alliance and Pines Theater shows, as well as with expected healthcare-related visits (hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, etc.).

PineCrest supports our broader economy in other, unexpected ways. For example, they partner with SFA as an intern site for social workers and as a clinical site for nursing students in SFA’s Bachelors nursing program. In addition, PineCrest is an intern site for SFA’s hospitality program. PineCrest also partners with Angelina College with AC’s LVN, RN, and CNA programs. These affiliations have led to numerous full time healthcare positions not only at PineCrest but at other facilities in our community.

PineCrest residents serve as volunteers at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial and at AC’s Adult Learning Center. And local high school students are working with PineCrest residents in a program called Wisdom for Youth with Senior Expertise (WYSE), which promotes inter-generational learning through shared experiences. An Alzheimer’s support group is also facilitated at PineCrest. Though these programs may not have a direct economic impact, their quality of life impact is significant.

PineCrest is a true community within our community, and one that is far from insular or isolated. I’m grateful for PineCrest’s economic impact as well as their influence far beyond simple employment statistics. PineCrest demonstrates that Business is Everyone’s Business!

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Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

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Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

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Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

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Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

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Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

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Linda Miller, MS

Linda Miller, MS

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Evelyn Leach

Evelyn Leach

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