care provider to close
people to lose jobs when GeminiCares closes its doors
JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News
April 8, 2015
A Slinger-based company will
cease operations May 31, putting 701 employees out of work.
GeminiCares, which provides supportive home care, personal care
and respite care services to thousands of elderly and disabled
people throughout the state, has 11 offices, including one in
In a notice Monday to the Department of Workforce Development,
president and owner Kathy Rublee explained how the company will
wind down operations.
“This will result in the permanent elimination of 693 employees
with an anticipated end date of May 31. Three positions will be
eliminated June 30, four will be eliminated July 31 and one
worker will see reduced hours and their end date will occur once
all company administrative needs have been fulfilled,” Rublee
Rublee said in a news release the decision to close the company
was made after careful and thorough deliberation.
“The state has long understood the difficulties in funding
long-term care for the elderly and disabled and has been very
cognizant of the financial toll that increased costs and
increased numbers of those in need have presented,” Rublee said.
“The state has attempted to address these issues. Their
responses have put financial strains on entities which are
involved in this system, managed care organizations, county
agencies and provider agencies.”
She said plans are underway to move clients to new care
“Our private-pay clients will be transitioned to another agency
in order to ensure their continued quality care,” Rublee said.
“We’re also working with managed care organizations and county
agencies to ensure all publicly funded client care (such as
Medicare) is transitioned to other agencies so care is not
Company controller Gayle Petrilli said 11 people are employed at
the Slinger office, none of whom are caregivers.
“There are three company employees at West Bend and 98
caregivers work from there,” Petrilli said.
Workforce Development Rapid Response coordinator Bill Zillmer
said GeminiCares workers who do not find jobs will receive
assistance from his department and other agencies.
“We’ve talked with company officials and we’re working to assist
those employees,” Zillmer said.
Rublee said while the number of jobs lost looks substantial, a
majority of the employees will be hired by other agencies as
their clients are transitioned to the other agencies.
“About 50 supervisory and administrative
staff throughout Wisconsin will face a more difficult job
search,” Rublee said.
Rublee said the uncertainty of the long-term
care system due to changes proposed by Gov. Scott Walker weighed
heavily into the decision to cease operations.
“Walker has a large task before him as he
attempts to address the significant cost pressures of long-term
care while also attempting to maintain quality care,” Rublee
According to the company’s website,
GeminiCares was founded in 1981. It has partnered with county
agencies and care management organizations to serve the
supportive home care, personal care and respite needs of its
Besides West Bend and
Slinger, GeminiCares’ other locations and the number of
employees at each are: Stevens Point, 92; Marinette, 14;
Hayward, 87; Neillsville, 33; Adams, 47; Whitehall, 89; Eau
Claire, 83; Reedsburg, 51 and La Crosse, 102.