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Updated: May 14, 2024

Masonicare, United Methodist Homes announce plans to merge

Contributed Jon-Paul Venoit, Masonicare president and CEO (left), stands with United Methodist Homes Inc. President and CEO David Lawlor.

Wallingford-based Masonicare, the state’s largest not-for-profit provider of healthcare and senior living services, said Monday it plans to merge with Shelton-based United Methodist Homes Inc. (UMH) to create one of the largest such organizations in New England.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Masonicare officials said the deal is subject to various approvals, including by the boards of each organization, and is expected to close in early 2025.

UMH is a 150-year-old not-for-profit senior care organization with five locations in the state, including three in Shelton and one each in Farmington and Newington. 

The deal also includes merging each organization’s third-party management business — GENM for Masonicare, which provides marketing and supportive services for care providers, and The Long Hill Co. for UMH, which manages day-to-day operations for senior care facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Jon-Paul Venoit, Masonicare president and CEO, said during an exclusive interview Monday with Hartford Business Journal that the initial merger discussion began during the LeadingAge Annual Senior Living Symposium in Wallingford last November. Both he and UMH President & CEO David Lawlor were speakers at the event.

Venoit said he and Lawlor discussed “some synergies” between their two organizations during the symposium, which later led to a seven-hour meeting to discuss a merger. “The stars aligned perfectly,” Venoit said.

“By combining our complementary capabilities and talent, we will be poised to create a stronger, more resilient organization that is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of our residents, patients and stakeholders,” Venoit said.

As part of the agreement, Venoit will remain as president and CEO of Masonicare, while Lawlor will become Masonicare’s CFO and president of its management/consulting services division.

Current Masonicare CFO Steven Beaulieu, who has served in that role since 2020, will retire, Venoit said.

Lawlor said the goal of the merger is clear, “to harness the collective strengths, talent and know-how of both companies to form one stronger, enduring, mission-based organization that redefines the standards of excellence in the field of senior living.”

Masonicare has about 1,600 employees, while UMH has about 500. Venoit said the companies “don’t have many redundancies,” so he does not expect any layoffs.

Once the merger is completed, the combined organization will serve approximately 6,500 residents and patients.

With residential living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, senior behavioral health hospital, home health care, homemaker companion, and hospice and palliative care, Masonicare is the largest not-for-profit integrated senior care provider in Connecticut.

According to its latest annual report, Masonicare in fiscal 2023 reported $149.2 million in operating revenue, an operating loss of $8.3 million and an overall loss of $1.7 million. In fiscal 2022, Masonicare reported a $5.8 million operating loss and $157,000 overall loss. 

According to its latest 990 tax form, United Methodist reported $10.6 million in revenue and a $7.4 million surplus in fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30, 2022. 

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