Maybe it was the intense focus on local needs, or maybe it was that they had experience dealing with Medicaid patients. Maybe it was the in-person visits that some legislators paid to their facilities.
MONTICELLO, NY — Maybe it was the intense focus on local needs, or maybe it was that they had experience dealing with Medicaid patients. Maybe it was the in-person visits that some legislators paid to their facilities.
Whatever the reason, on Thursday, February 11, the Sullivan County Legislature chose Brooklyn-based Infinite Care as the new manager for the Care Center at Sunset Lake.
The company operates two facilities in the Kingston area: Golden Hill and Ten Broeck Commons, as well as several in Florida.
Infinite Care was the overwhelming favorite, with seven votes ranking it first choice.
The company “will begin as soon as possible to gather information from the Local Development Corporation (LDC), the care center’s current staff and community stakeholders to set goals and priorities for improving the lives of residents and employees of the facility,” said owner Sol Klein.
There was no public comment in the special meeting of the full legislature, and the audience sat quietly, some holding signs protesting The Grand Healthcare System. The two deputies on the desk downstairs just sent people up to the meeting.
Legislators Joe Perrello, Ira Steingart and coroner/LDC member Albee Bockman visited two facilities from each of the companies and Perrello said, “They could all give good care to our residents.”
Alan Sorensen also visited buildings owned by two of the companies, and said, “I do think the quality of the care in the ones that I visited was very good.” He emphasized that Infinite Care was his “preferred choice.”
At their presentation a few weeks ago, the company’s representatives explained that, although they hadn’t been in business that long—they started as an optical shop nine years ago—they were willing to learn from the facilities they’ve owned or managed. The director from Ten Broeck Commons was there to outline the programs she had run, and that Infinite Care adopted, from staff-centric to others that would make the lives of residents and their families easier. They own or manage 18 long-term care places. Plus, now, the Care Center at Sunset Lake.
“Now that the legislature has seen fit to designate us as the operator, we expect to work directly with the LDC and its counsel to hammer out the specifics of a contract and get to work as soon as possible on improving and protecting the quality of life of Sullivan’s senior population,” Klein said later.
“We’re very fortunate,” George Conklin said at the meeting, “to have the LDC that we did, and we’re very lucky to have three very good vendors to choose from. Any one of them could have done it.”
Legislators ranked the companies first, second and third. Had there not been an obvious favorite, points would have been assigned based on the rankings and the winner would have had the most points.
VestraCare came in second, with Conklin and Luis Alvarez ranking it first. (Conklin’s mother, he disclosed, is a resident at a VestraCare facility and he’s happy about the care she receives). It was the most popular second-place choice. Perrello and Michael Brooks ranked The Grand Healthcare second, but the other legislators put it at third. However, they reinforced that all three were good choices.
Specifics of the lease will be hammered out next by the LDC.
“We made clear during the bid process that InfiniteCare’s management approach is guided by two principles: a stable, happy staff leads to better care for residents, and listening to the community we serve leads to facilities that feel like home,” Klein said. “We will put those principles into action in Sullivan County as soon as the process allows.”