by Louise Doyle
A LETTERKENNY nursing home is to change ownership next week.
In a letter to residents, relatives, staff and friends of Hillcrest House Nursing Home, seen by the Donegal News, operator and owner Anne Gallagher shared the significant news which comes as she is set to retire.
Ms Gallagher was born in Donegal, and having completed her training and 10 years nursing experience at Gransha Hospital in Derry in the 1980s, Anne’s career took her to England where she gained and held several management positions.
She has been the owner of Hillcrest House Nursing Home for 20 years.
“For some time I have been considering and planning for my future and this December I will celebrate a significant birthday. The conclusion
I’ve reached is that the time is right for me to retire and to that end, I have accepted an offer from a private buyer for the purchase of Hillcrest Nursing Home,” the letter details.
“As the sole director of this wonderful nursing home for over 20 years, the decision to sell hasn’t been an easy one. Having made it, however, the selection of a private, as opposed to a corporate buyer, was extremely important to me.”
The new owners are Garry and Luke Gavigan from County Kildare, who will take up their position on Thursday, November 30.
“I’ve met with them several times and I feel confident that they have the right attitude and experience needed to maintain our high standards of care and build upon the excellent reputation that Hillcrest Nursing Home enjoys.
“Luke will be supported on site by Annmarie Hegarty, who is a very experienced nursing home operator.”
Ms Gallagher said that over the course of the two decades since she acquired Hillcrest House Nursing home, it has been her “honour and privlege” to be entrusted with the care of the residents.
“I’ve appreciated each and every one. I’ve met and formed relationships with many relatives and friends of residents and I’m truly grateful for the support and confidence in my ability to manage the care of their loved ones.”
Ms Gallagher praised the dedication and commitment of her staff, particularly through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am equally grateful for the dedication, hard work and commitment from all my staff, some of whom have worked with me since the beginning.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hillcrest (the challenges set by Covid-19 excepted) and feel that I have given my full attention and brought a personal touch to the management of the nursing home. The conception, development and completion of The Lodge have been a particularly proud achievement for me.”
Luke Gavigan will be in Letterkenny on Monday and will have as many personal introductions to residents, staff and relatives as possible.
She said will ensure the passing of ownership will be as “seamless” as possible and with “absolutely no disruption to Hillcrest’s cherished residents and staff”.
Ms Gallagher ended the correspondence by saying that if anyone had any questions or concerns arising from the announcement that she is “available to discuss and allay those concerns”.