The Robert Dutton, MD Adult Day Health Center in Wakefield Transfers Ownership to the Community Family

The Community Family, Inc. and Melrose Wakefield Healthcare are pleased to announce that ownership of the Robert Dutton, MD Adult Day Health Center in Wakefield is being transferred to The Community Family. For more than two decades the Dutton Center has operated as part of MelroseWakefield Healthcare, formerly Hallmark Health System. The official date of transfer of ownership was March 18.

The Community Family (TCF) is an Everett-based non-profit organization that has provided quality adult day health services for over four decades. Both The Community Family and the Dutton Center are mission-driven organizations providing the highest level care to frail elders, disabled adults and those with memory loss. The Dutton Center will join The Community Family’s other three adult day health centers located in Everett, Medford and Lowell.

The Community Family recognizes that adult day health is a critical component of community-based health care, and the Dutton Center serves a contiguous geographic region north of Boston. Furthermore, the histories of the Dutton center and TCF are alike in that both were founded in 1978 as a viable alternative to nursing home care.

The Community Family has not expanded its number of centers since their Lowell center opened 30 years ago. While not actively seeking further growth, the opportunity with the Dutton Center became appealing to TCF after speaking with leadership of MelroseWakefield Healthcare. Details were worked out over several months of cordial, productive negotiations.

Anne Marchetta, Executive Director of The Community Family, said, “This is a momentous occasion for The Community Family. The decision to acquire the Dutton Center was not made lightly, but we are excited about this opportunity and look forward to bringing their clients and families into our ‘family’. We will ensure our newest center exhibits the same quality care, dignity and respect for clients that has been a hallmark of our other centers for decades.”

Diane Farraher-Smith, RN, System Vice President of Home Care and Community Programs at MelroseWakefield Healthcare and a member of the Board of Directors at The Community Family, helped bring the two organizations together. “The Community Family is a natural fit to operate the Dutton Center,” she commented. “They have a deep-rooted history in providing excellent adult day health services, as the Dutton staff have done over many years, and the community will benefit from their services. I am profoundly familiar with both adult day health programs and have complete confidence in Ms. Marchetta and her leadership team to successfully transition the Dutton Center into the fabric of The Community Family.”

A seamless transition is expected, as The Community Family/Dutton Center will have the same Program Director, Susan Morton, RN, and virtually the same entire staff. Most importantly, there should be negligible change for the 60 individuals that currently attend the Dutton Center. Adult day health offers a low-cost option for the care of elderly and disabled adults, offering nursing care, therapeutic activities, nutrition and socialization opportunities, as well as much-needed respite for their care providers. Like other forms of healthcare, adult day health is challenged by low rates for services as prescribed under the state’s Medicaid program. The Community Family has remained a sound, stable organization in the midst of many changes in the industry.

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