Roo Lan Takes Shape
Roo Lan Health Care is Lacey’s original skilled nursing facility. We’ve been caring for members of the Lacey community for almost 50 years, sometimes even caring for multiple generations of the same family. Our story begins in the late 1960’s when Mr. Root and Mr. Langdon, two longtime operators of nursing homes in the area, decided to open a new nursing facility along Carpenter Road. They took the first three letters of their last names for the name and, “Roo Lan Gardens” first opened its doors to residents on October 1st, 1971. Several years later in 1974, Roo Lan Gardens became the first nursing home in Lacey to be licensed as a skilled nursing facility. This allowed Roo Lan to change with the times and care for Lacey citizens on a temporary basis with the goal of eventually returning home.
Around the same time as Roo Lan Gardens was becoming a skilled nursing facility the name was changed to “Roo Lan Healthcare Center”. This was done to better align the community’s name with our new philosophy on care. It was also done to reduce the number of calls the building received on a regular basis for Chinese takeout.
Roo Lan Grows & Evolves
On October 1st, 1985, Roo Lan was sold to Mr. Craig LeVee and Dr. George Zerr, two veterans of the skilled nursing industry who continue to own the community to this day. This makes Roo Lan the only locally-owned, skilled facility in the county. Mr. LeVee and Dr. Zerr believe that responsiveness and focus are key to delivering quality care, and staying family-run has allowed Roo Lan to avoid layers of corporate red-tape that sometimes obstruct other facilities. Staying local also has the added benefit of enhancing staff retention as our people feel like part of one big family. Many of our nurses and even aides have been with us more than 20 years, with a few even exceeding 30 years of service at Roo Lan.
In the late 1990’s another shift in health care saw the creation of assisted living communities to care for residents who needed more care then they could receive in their home but desired more independence than a nursing facility. Roo Lan answered the demand for this new level of care by opening “The Lodge at Roo Lan”, one of Lacey’s first assisted living complexes. The first lodge, with a maximum population of 32 residents, opened in 1998, and a second “sister” lodge opened the following year.
By 2010 health care once again was changing and Roo Lan found itself needing to adjust its vision keep pace. to better serve our residents, in 2015 Roo Lan’s Skilled Nursing facility began the process of dedicating one of our resident wings to accommodate short term rehabilitation alone. This resulted in a major renovation, where outdated 2 and 4-person rooms were redesigned into more spacious private and semi-private suites. In addition, The Lodges at Roo Lan underwent its own transformation and in 2016 was reborn as “Roo Lan Memory Care”, the area’s newest dedicated memory care community.
Roo Lan’s Story Continues
Despite almost half a century of growth and changing with the times, Roo Lan has never compromised or altered the principals that made it great in the first place. Those values are still true: the most dedicated & skilled employees give the best care and the well-being of our population and their families has been (and will always be) placed ahead of profit.