An Orangeburg retirement community has sold the nursing home portion of its business to a national operator.

The Oaks Healthcare, the nursing home segment of The Oaks of Orangeburg, has sold its nursing home services to Cascade Capital Group, a Skokie, Illinois-based private health care real estate investment and asset management firm. Cascade’s interests include skilled nursing, post-acute, rehabilitation and transitional-care facilities, as well as assisted-living communities.

The new operator is PACS Group Inc., a Utah-based holding company whose subsidiaries consist of post-acute care facilities, professionals and ancillary services.

PACS became the operator of the nursing home on April 1, according to The Oaks of Orangeburg manager Clay Fowler. Fowler also owns Orangeburg’s Longwood Plantation Assisted Living and Magnolia Place.

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Details of the sale have not been disclosed.

“The nursing home industry is a complex business which requires a very deep bench beyond what we can build as a single-site nursing home operator,” Fowler said. “We reached the conclusion that the best long-term outcome for The Oaks would be to bring a national company who specializes in nursing homes onto the campus.”

The new operator of the nursing home at The Oaks is PACS Group Inc., which also operates Edisto Post Acute in Orangeburg.

“They are familiar with Orangeburg and already operate Edisto Post Acute,” Fowler said.

Via email, PACS stated:

“We’re excited to be a part of the Orangeburg community and partner with the current team of caregivers at The Oaks to continue to provide safe and compassionate care to our residents. We look forward to many years of adding value, trust, and confidence to the community, and sharing our passion and expertise with residents of The Oaks.”

The Oaks will become PACS’ 25th nursing home in the state and will join over 220 other nursing homes that PACS operates throughout the country.

“While we have come a long way in the last five years of working with The Oaks, we know that PACS will be able to build on what we have accomplished and continue the growth trend we have established,” Fowler said.

The Oaks nursing home was built in 1996 with 166 beds. It has seen growth.

“Five years ago the nursing home reached a low point of 45 residents,” Fowler said. “We now consistently have over 100 residents in the nursing facility.”

Fowler said growth has coincided with staffing stability and an increase in capability of the nursing staff.

Employee retention has also been a focus.

“The quality ratings have improved and our internal data informs us that with our next survey cycle, we will improve even more,” Fowler said.

About 15 years ago, Fowler said it was decided to close the assisted living formerly known as Clinkscales and move assisted living into a wing of the nursing home.

The Oaks trustees sold the assets of the retirement community to a newly formed entity in June. The sale was made due to financial challenges.

The assisted living industry has evolved to be much more of a homelike setting similar to Orangeburg’s Longwood Plantation, while a nursing home serves a different purpose, Fowler said.

“Due to the success of the nursing home, in conjunction with the new owners, the decision has been made to expand the nursing home back into the assisted-living area,” Fowler said.

Assisted living is now closed, with most residents moving to sites such as Longwood, Legacy or Magnolias of Eutawville, Fowler said.

In addition, Fowler said a professional management company — Premier Senior Living — has been hired for its independent living area.

“We have a desire to increase our bench strength and industry knowledge to elevate the service level in independent living,” Fowler said. “We currently have close to 70 residents in independent living and introduced them to Premier Senior Living recently.”

The sale of the Methodist Oaks retirement community to a private company was finalized on March 31.

“Premier is focused mainly in the Carolinas and Georgia and has expertise in the senior living space related to facility maintenance and renovation, dining, housekeeping, campus life and has their thumb on the pulse of how this industry is evolving,” Fowler said. “This will bring to Orangeburg the types of service delivery comparable with the services available in Charleston and Columbia that we feel the residents of The Oaks deserve as well.”

Fowler said the changes will enable a greater focus on the PACE program.

The program was rebranded as the Orangeburg Senior Helping Center-A PACE Healthcare Program in February 2022.

“PACE is an amazing program that serves one of the most fragile populations of Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties,” Fowler said. “We have invested substantially into the program in new technology and leadership.”

PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare program with participants enrolling in the program just like they would enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. PACE becomes their payer for medical bills, Fowler said.

The program has a licensed adult daycare center and buses that will pick participants up at their home and bring them to the center.

At the center, individuals can be seen by a doctor, receive nursing care or therapy and receive a meal.

The sale of the Methodist Oaks retirement community to a private company was finalized.

The program also provides transportation for medical visits to specialists and provides non-medical home sitter services when needed.

The care of each participant is determined by an interdisciplinary team consisting of nurses, physical therapist, a masters-level social worker, physician, registered dietician and other disciplines.

To be in PACE, a participant needs to be 55 years old and have sufficient health concerns that might qualify them for a nursing home but also be able to reside safely in the community.

Currently there are 93 participants in PACE and it is growing.

In an effort to raise community awareness, a free barbecue for the community will be held April 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the center at 153 Founder’s Court in Orangeburg.

The Oaks of Orangeburg LLC purchased the Methodist Oaks in March 2021. Millions of dollars have been invested in the campus, including renovations to apartments, replacement of a large commercial chiller, HVAC and hot water systems, upgrades to the information technology infrastructure and a general cleaning up of the campus.

The Oaks also restructured into several different operating companies based on the services offered.

Oaks Healthcare for the nursing home, Oaks on the Edisto for the Independent Living and Orangeburg Senior Helping Center-A PACE Healthcare Program for PACE.

“Our continual concern is to make sure we do what is best for The Oaks community and as such we have made several strategic decisions that we know will continue to build on the work that our team has accomplished,” Fowler said.

“When I first invested in Orangeburg in 2011, I had no idea how important this community would become to me and how many people I would get to know,” Fowler continued. “As we continuously evaluate the future, we are always sure to be guided by what is best for The Oaks, the PACE and Longwood and appreciative of the many community partnerships we have.”

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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