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UofL forms partnership with Signature HealthCARE

by UofL Today last modified Mar 17, 2010 03:57 PM

The prospect of a partnership with the University of Louisville was a major factor in the decision of a long-term care company to relocate its headquarters to Louisville.

UofL forms partnership with Signature HealthCARE

Gov. Steve Beshear and Mayor Jerry Abramson were among those who welcomed Signature HealthCARE.

Signature HealthCARE has announced that it is moving to Louisville from its current home in West Palm Beach, Fla., in part, because of the opportunity to set up an International Center for Long-Term Care Innovation (LTC Innovation) in conjunction with UofL's Nucleus project.

The LTC Innovation center will provide an opportunity for UofL faculty and researchers to commercialize their products and services for the aging.

Initial funding will come from the state through Nucleus and from Signature, with both contributing $1.5 million. Signature executive John Reinhart will head it.

Plans are for LTC Innovation to be located at first in the Med Center 3 building in downtown Louisville. The center's staff will eventually move into the first building built by Nucleus on the site of the old Haymarket.

The creation of LTC Innovation is part of an effort by UofL and Louisville economic development officials to continue the growth of a cluster of aging care companies in Louisville.

Signature's employees and top staff are making a "leap of faith" in leaving Florida and moving to Louisville because they believe in the mission of UofL and the new energy in "Possibility City," Signature CEO Joe Steier told reporters and others gathered March 15 for the announcement.

Both Steier and Reinhart are graduates of Louisville's St. Xavier High School.

Signature HealthCARE also is planning to start a think tank at its corporate headquarters, which will be located in the Blankenbaker Crossings development in eastern Louisville. The think tank intends to use faculty from UofL's Kent School of Social Work, Speed School of Engineering, College of Business and others to produce white papers and best practices on dealing with geriatric and aging adults.

The new partnership, said UofL President James Ramsey, will open doors for UofL's research faculty as well as UofL students who are seeking internships or jobs in fields related to aging care.   

Signature expects to employ about 120 people at its Louisville headquarters. The company operates senior living facilities, including three in Louisville and 17 in Kentucky.

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