Newspaper article The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT)

New Owners to Take over St. Vincent Child Care Centers; Service to Expand to the Public

Newspaper article The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT)

New Owners to Take over St. Vincent Child Care Centers; Service to Expand to the Public

Article excerpt

Not long after St. Vincent Healthcare announced in July that it would close its child care centers on Oct. 14, Kevin Brodock went from a being a concerned parent to making sure the centers stayed open.

His 2-year-old son attends the day care. He and his wife, Kamber Kelly-Brodock, liked the care environment there and soon after the announcement ensured that care would continue when they inked a deal to run the centers.

On Oct. 17, the couple will officially take over operations of Shirley's Place and Priscilla's Place, which have for years provided child care services for hospital employees and affiliates.

"We're excited," said Brodock, president of the newly formed America's Future LLC, which will operate the centers. "We've learned a lot in a short time frame and we're committed to making this work."

Both centers -- Shirley's Place, serving younger children and newborns at 1233 N. 30th St., and Priscilla's Place, caring for older kids in the basement of First English Lutheran Church at 1243 N. 31st St. -- will reopen under the same names and with most of the previous staff still in place.

In mid-July hospital officials announced the centers' closures and that 49 hospital employees would lose their jobs, including 22 from the child care centers. Hospital CEO and President Steve Loveless said the decision was part of a shuffling of resources to focus more on improving patient care quality, growing care-related services and shortening hospital stays.

"Those are absolutely the right things to do," Loveless said at the time. "But there's a cost to do that."

Expanding service

Under the new ownership, the centers will still be available to hospital employees and affiliates but will now also be open to other members of the public.

That will help to fill spots previously left open in the day care centers due to what Brodock described as not enough available employee children, and to ensure the centers remain financially sound.

Brodock, who works as an outside sales representative with local hospitals, said that he understands St. Vincent's decision was financial and not based on how the centers performed. …

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