With the growing need for healthcare services for frail seniors, InnovAge is focused on expanding all-inclusive care – through PACE and LIFE – to more older adults in more communities. To do this requires increasing awareness and support of PACE, but it also includes bricks and mortar – in the shape of building new centers and renovating existing ones. The person leading these efforts is Lou Pierotti, InnovAge’s director of real estate development.
Uniqueness of PACE
Building a new PACE center isn’t the same as building an apartment complex or bank building. “Our sites are complicated by the fact of how much space we need,” explains Lou. For new construction – such as the center being built in Sacramento, California
– in addition to the building itself, “we have to provide for up to 20 spaces for bus parking as well as parking for staff and visitors. That takes up a lot of room.” Another key consideration is easy access to main traffic routes to minimize transportation time for participants.
What also sets PACE sites aside are the wide variety of services included in the program
. “We run a medical clinic, a dentist clinic, we have kitchens, we run a small bus company, we operate a gym, and we have a complex data environment and a high level of security. These very different functions must come together in once unified location,” says Lou. With all these moving parts, delivery times become critical. “From time to time, I will lose sleep over our delivery dates.”
Currently under construction is a mega-center in Sacramento that is scheduled to open next summer. The facility will be more than 47,000 square feet and is a joint venture with two local healthcare organizations. “It will be our biggest center yet,” says Lou. Additionally, the Roanoke center in Virginia
is relocating to a larger facility next year, and InnovAge will be opening a second new LIFE center in Philadelphia
in 2020. Other existing centers are undergoing renovations and expansions, too. “The most exciting ones for me are the ones I can’t talk about! I’m looking for new sites in several markets and I’m really looking forward to helping InnovAge to grow and help more seniors.”
Working for InnovAge
One of the biggest surprises to Lou since joining InnovAge is the participants. “I knew when I joined how worthwhile our services were but seeing how much they appreciate what we do and seeing the big smiles on the faces of our participants at the centers really blew me away.”
Besides working for InnovAge, Lou’s experience in real estate includes other healthcare environments, including hospital systems, as well as for financial institutions and other large corporations. “I have worked in a lot of different environments in my career. I can honestly say that the atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork here at InnovAge is the best I have ever been a part of.”