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 more than 45 years now, 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 the layers of corporate red-tape that obstruct other facilities from giving the best care. Staying local also has the added benefit of enhancing staff retention as our people feel like part of the 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 were unable to remain in their homes but desired more independence and privacy than a nursing home. 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 the changing nature of health care meant that Roo Lan also needed to make adjustments and we shifted focus in order to better serve our residents. In 2015 Roo Lan’s Skilled-Nursing facility began the process of transforming part of our care facility from long-term residents to guests requiring short-term rehab. This resulted in a major renovation of one of our resident wings, redesigning outdated 2 and 4-person rooms into more spacious private and semi-private suites. In addition, The Lodges at Roo Lan underwent their own transformation. A series of staffing and facility changes in 2016 saw the Lodges 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.