The Somervell County Hospital Authority board of directors took the final steps Friday to seal the deal on a new partnership.

Beginning Jan. 1, Glen Rose Nursing and Rehab will be under new management. Rick Villa and Brian Thomas, who have decades of combined long-term care experience, signed a contract with the authority to take over management of the facility, easing the financial burden on Somervell County and the hospital authority.

"During our evaluation of financial issues at the nursing home, we identified these two individuals as having interest in the facility," Glen Rose Medical Center CEO Ray Reynolds said.

Signing of the contract followed a unanimous vote of support from Somervell County commissioners days earlier.

Currently the facility is operated by Glen Rose Medical Center and overseen by the authority. Reynolds told the court on Nov. 13 that discussions regarding potentially subleasing the nursing home started months ago, and the decision to move forward was "primarily financial."

Last year, nursing home losses added up to about $566,000, he said.

"We started looking at ways to minimize the hospital authority's losses and require less support of the county," Reynolds added.

Villa currently serves as administrator at Cherokee Rose Nursing and Rehabilitation with Thomas serving as his supervisor. Thomas oversees the management of 10 facilities operated by Cherokee Rose's parent company, Creative Solutions. 

The duo formed their own management company - TGR Healthcare.

They expect to make some changes as they reorganize to the company in an effort to push gains above losses, but Villa said the plan to retain current nursing home employees.

"We don't expect any change in the care provided to nursing home residents," Reynolds said Friday.