WESTFALL — Senior Health Care Solutions was recently granted a license by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services to build a $21 million skilled nursing facility in Westfall Township.The new nursing home, which will break ground in March with an estimated completion date of February 2020, will be located on seven acres on Rivers Edge Drive, fronting the Heritage Pointe 55-and-older housing community and adjacent to the Home Depot Shopping Plaza. The facility will be licensed in Medicare and Medicaid programs. "This is significant in that the PA Department of Health and Human Services had imposed a moratorium on nursing home bed construction in Pennsylvania back in the late 1990s," said Michael P. Kelly, president of Senior Health Care Solutions. "The only avenue to construct new skilled nursing beds in the PA system is by applying through the state's 'Exception Request' process."The approval was based on data demonstrating that Pike County needs the facility, he said."Pike County currently has only 110 skilled nursing beds," said Kelly. "Our diligence indicated that many potential nursing home residents seek nursing home beds outside the county, which poses a hardship on families. We were successful in demonstrating this need to HHS and were finally granted approval to proceed with the development."Kelly said it took the company three years to find land suitable for a project of this size. The greatest obstacle was public sewage services, which "is at a premium in Pike County," he said.The land development process began last year in Westfall Township, where the project was approved by the township's planning commission. When completed, the site will contain the 70-bed Delaware Valley Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the 50-unit Delaware Valley Personal Care Center. Kelly said both facilities will be state-of-the-art and contain numerous private amenities. "The project will mirror our most recent project constructed in Sayre, Pa.," said Kelly. "Our concept is designing a facility more like an upscale hotel that provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation services and numerous private rooms and baths. The Personal Care Center will contain all private accommodations and provide assistance to those seniors who require assistance with their activities of daily living provided by a staff of nurses and trained assistants providing 24 hour care."Jobs with competitive wagesKelly said the project will give the local economy a boost, creating 110 full-time and 30 part-time jobs with competitive wages and benefits.The jobs will be in the following categories: office and administration; registered nurses and licensed practical nurses; certified nursing assistants and personal care attendants; physical, occupational and speech therapists; social workers; dietitians, cooks, and dietary aides; laundry, maintenance and housekeeping staff; recreational activities staff; and van drivers. "The real estate taxes will also add to the local economy," said Kelly. "We strive to buy locally and become immersed in community activities and charity events." Project Schedule: The project is projected to beak ground in March of this year with an anticipated completion date of February of 2020.Kelly said the project was greatly aided by the efforts of the Pike County Commissioners, Mike Sullivan of the Pike County Econmic Development Authority, and Davis Chant of Chant Realty.Senior Health Care Solutions's home office is located at 401 Moltke Avenue in Scranton. Its principals, Kelly and Susan Keefer, have over a 30-year history of developing and operating skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. To date they have completed 24 projects located in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the location of the nursing home, which is Westfall Township, not Matamoras. The Courier regrets the error.