Troubled Bixby nursing home improving

Friday, June 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- The owner of a financially troubled Bixby nursing home says he hopes to regain control of the facility from operators who have filed for bankruptcy.

Wayne Wood said he is asking the state Health Department to return control of Bixby Manor Nursing Home to him.

He said he expects the department to grant his request.

Wood stepped in last week to make sure employees were paid when the nursing home operator failed to make payroll.

Bixby Manor Nursing Home has reportedly been beset with financial problems that include getting utility cutoff notices, vendors threatening to stop delivering food and supplies and paying employees late or only partially.

Making late payroll landed the facility on a state watch list for troubled nursing homes.

Specialty Care of Bixby Inc. has operated Bixby Manor Nursing Home under an agreement with Wood, president of Wood Manor Inc.

But Specialty Care filed for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Tulsa on June 9, according to records.

The bankruptcy filing lists more than 100 creditors, including utility companies.

Wood said he has leased the nursing home to George Curtis and his son, George W. Curtis Jr., since February 1998. The Curtises are the licensed operators, Wood said.

The Curtises could not be reached for comment.

The Bixby home and three others linked to the Curtises are on a watch list of 56 troubled nursing homes compiled by the state Health Department, records show.

Also on the list are Cleveland Manor Nursing Home, Specialty Care of Claremore and Parkview Nursing Center of Valliant.

Wood has owned the Bixby nursing home since 1982. He said he leased it and the Claremore nursing home to the Curtises because of his health problems.

"If I'd known they would have run it this way, I wouldn't have leased it to them," he said.