Hilltop Health Care Center has been serving community needs for many years. Originally built and owned by the City of Watkins, the facility was known as Hilltop Nursing Home. It took two years of planning before construction of the $1.8 million facility began in the Spring of 1978. The Hilltop Nursing home opened one year after with William Peters, a long-time area resident, becoming the first resident of the home in April 1979.
In 2002, the facility was owned by Paynesville Area Health Care System. When PAHCS announced in 2011 their intent to sell the facility, or possibly close it, the community of Watkins rallied to keep its largest employer. About 30 individuals attended the February 7, 2011, Watkins City Council meeting to voice their concerns about the possible closing. Not long after, two bus loads of passionate community members visited the State Capitol to appeal for higher reimbursement rates for the facility. Their efforts were successful. Community support has made Hilltop possible through the years.
In May of 2012, the facility was purchased by co-owners, Fred Struzyk and Tom Opatz. Since then the facility has been known as Hilltop Health Care Center. Hilltop Health Care Center offers a variety of programs and activities for people to enjoy. For example, rides in the country, trips to Wal-Mart, and Mneme Therapy, which involves residents creating and exhibiting artwork throughout the facility.
In 2015 we added on to our facility, Garden View assisted living. The original addition had 34 apartments, the sunset lounge and a chapel that has taken on a variety of religious denominations. In January 2019 we added an additional 12 apartments, this brings our grand total of assisted living apartments to 46.