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Keeping the legacy

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Shown is the South Shore Care Center facility. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — For 35 years, Richard and Barbara Atchison cared for thousands of patients as owners of Crossroads and South Shore Care Centers in Worthington.

As the two looked after aging residents in the nursing homes, they themselves reached retirement age and decided to sell the facilities.

In January, the two announced to their staff that Superior Health Care Management would take over the two facilities. By April, the Atchisons could finally retire when the company took official ownership of the buildings.

“What we liked about Superior is that they seemed to have the resources to assist our staff,” Barbara said in an email. “Yet they are small enough to maintain the ‘personal/family/community feel’ that is so important in a nursing home in a smaller community like Worthington.”

The choice was especially important for the Atchisons because they wanted the best care for seniors in the community and for current resident Betty Atchison, Richard’s mother, who built South Shore Care Center (formerly known as Lake Haven Nursing Home) with husband Alfred Atchison in the 1950s.

“It’s a little bit strange because she and her husband built the facility, and now she is resident,” Barbara said.

Superior has the resources to keep the nursing homes up to code with new and upcoming state and federal legislation, she said, noting that since the company owns several homes in Minnesota, staff at the various homes could share ideas.

In the transition, Superior retained all of the care centers’ staff and added Scott Buchanan as the facilities’ new administrator. He completes the duties that were once carried out by Barbara.

The company hopes to keep the nursing homes, each of which house approximately 50 residents, running the way they have been. However, it made some improvements to the properties.

In the South Shore facility, several long-term rehabilitation rooms were remodeled into short-term rehabilitation rooms because there was a shortage of those types of accommodations, Buchanan said.

“The two facilities are very important to the community,” he said. “We are happy to be here and take that torch and keep it moving forward.”

The Atchisons said retirement is the “best gig yet.”

Richard retired from farming as well this year, so the two have more time with each other.

Though they don’t plan on getting any less busy.

Most recently, they took their children and grandchildren on a trip to Orlando, Fla.

In the future, Barbara hopes to sing and play her Clavinova piano for seniors at the care centers, as her way of paying it forward to the day she is in the care center.

Alex Chhith

Alex Chhith joined the Worthington Daily Globe in Janurary 2016 after graduating from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with duel bachelor degrees in Professional Journalism and Political Science and with a minor in Spanish Studies. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native interned for a couple of news publications located in St. Paul and in her hometown during her undergraduate career. She also studied abroad in Toledo, Spain last year -- though her Spanish is a little rusty at the moment. At the Globe she covers primarily the City and Education beat, but has most recently also covered the Crime and Courts beat. On the weekends, Alex likes to relax and catch up with her friends or with her favorite television shows. Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Lord of the Rings are her go-to films to watch.