May 28, 2014 —
LIBERTY, NY — At a time when Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle over efforts to privatize their nursing homes and other counties have already moved to privatize their facilities, officials in Sullivan County are celebrating the renovation of the Sullivan County Adult Care Center.
At a ribbon cutting on May 22, Deborah DeJesus, the administrator of the center, said that the recently completed renovation created a memory-care unit within the center to serve residents with dementia, as well as a short-term rehabilitation facility that now has nine private rooms.
Legislator Cindy Gieger said the memory-care unit is the only one that exists in Sullivan County. She said, “There is clearly a need for specially trained staff in a secure unit to serve those with dementia.”
She added, “We can also boast now of a professionally staffed short-term rehab unit for those with a need for excellent therapies close to home.”
The cost of the renovations was about $2.2 million, with $1.2 million coming from a Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL) grant.
There have been discussions over the years about the possibility of selling or privatizing the center, but that is clearly not in the cards at the current time, and the new facilities are expected to improve the revenue coming into the center.
Legislator Kathy LaBuda has been one of the most vocal supporters of maintaining the center, formerly known as the Sullivan County Infirmary, as a county-owned facility.
She said, “About 10 years ago there was talk about privatizing this facility. I then met with the Family Health Council [which represents the residents that stay in the facility], and I told them I would do everything in my power to make sure that this facility was not privatized. This facility belongs in our county for our constituents who have worked throughout their lives, and if they now can’t remain at home, they can stay in this facility.”