Maloney and Skoufis ask Department of Health to intervene in nursing home concerns


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The following letter, dated Jan. 10, was addressed to Dr. Howard Zucker , Commissioner, New York State Department of Health, Albany.

Dear Commissioner Zucker:

We are writing to you with strong concerns over the current conditions at Sapphire Nursing and Rehab at Goshen (Sapphire), formerly Elant at Goshen, Inc.

In addition to recent news stories in the Times Herald-Record which exposed a number of alarming items, constituents, both employees and families of patients, have recently reached out to us to express their newfound apprehension since the Department of Health (DOH) approved Sapphire’s purchase in late 2017.

Notably, Sapphire’s application to the DOH’s Public Health and Health Planning Council clearly states, “The applicant has proposed to make no significant changes to staffing levels…” in clear contradiction to what has actually transpired. According to the employee union at Sapphire, 20 of 37 nurses, in addition to a number of administrators, have been laid off. Even basic food items have been cut from the facility.

Seventeen nurses are woefully inadequate for a 120-bed facility. If there are three shifts per day — many days there likely are not given overworked employees — the result is a 1:21 nurse to patient ratio. This is reprehensible and incredibly unsafe for patients and nurses alike. Furthermore, the facility’s sale was made under false pretenses given the promise to “make no significant changes to staffing levels.”

NYS Assemblyman James Skoufis, District 99

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, 18th Congressional District
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