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St. Petersburg's Westminster senior living facilities may be part of a possible merger with Pennsylvania nonprofit

Westminster Palms on Beach Drive NE in St. Petersburg is among three senior living facilities owned by Westminster Communities of Florida. [Photo from Google]
Published Jun. 14

ST. PETERSBURG — Westminster Communities of Florida, which has three senior living facilities in St. Petersburg, is considering a possible merger with Pennsylvania-based Presbyterian Senior Living.

The two nonprofit organizations have a memorandum of understanding to explore a possible affiliation by Jan. 1.

"The planned retirement of both organizations' CEOs offers a window of opportunity that will enable PSL and Westminster to think creatively about what the relationship could look like,'' they said in a joint release.

Wes Meltzer, Westminster's director of communications, said Friday that one of the principles of the memorandum is that it would be a "merger of equals''

"It's too early to say at this point what sort of details that would entail,'' he said, including the name of a merged organization.

Founded in 1954, Orlando-based Westminster has 10 continuing care facilities throughout Florida that provide a range of options from independent living to long-term skilled nursing care. The three in St. Petersburg, with a total of 950 residents, are Westminster Palms at 939 Beach Drive NE; Westminster Suncoast at 1095 Pinellas Point Drive S; and Westminster Shores at 125 56th Ave. S. New residents pay a one-time entry fee, then a monthly fee that includes services like maintenance, 24-hour security and scheduled transportation.

The organization also operates 12 rental communities in Florida for low-income seniors 62 and older.

As part of its faith-based heritage, Westminster has ties to the Presbyterian Church USA, "but we are not part of the church,'' Meltzer said. "We have residents and employees who represent every faith and creed you could possible imagine.''

CEO Roger Stevens, who is planning to retire at the end of this year, has been with Westminster since 1995. The CEO of Presbyterian Senior Living, Stephen Proctor, retired June 7 but will continue to advise that organization for several months.

Based in Dillsburg, Pa., the nonprofit provides retirement and care services for more than 6,000 seniors in 30 locations across Pennslyvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

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