The Care Center needs us now, Narcan training and more

Letters to the Editor April 13 to 19

Posted 4/12/23

Care Center staff and residents need us now

Recently, the employees at the Sunset Lake Adult Care Center (ACC) received a memo from the county, stating that Infinite Care, under a new corporate …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The Care Center needs us now, Narcan training and more

Letters to the Editor April 13 to 19


Care Center staff and residents need us now

Recently, the employees at the Sunset Lake Adult Care Center (ACC) received a memo from the county, stating that Infinite Care, under a new corporate alias—the Sunset SNF Operations LLC—had filed a Certificate of Need to ask the New York State Department of Health to approve that they become the operator of the nursing home.  

They had actually filed the certificate in January, and were notifying the employees, residents and staff a little later than their regulations from the Department of Health required.  

The memo said that “because you are valued, important members of the county and Care Center’s team, we want to make sure you understand the notice and the county’s plans as they affect you.”  

The rest of the memo said that if and when the Department of Health approves this, they had several options, but the change would happen quickly if approved.  If they wished to remain county employees, they could transfer to another position as available within the county; otherwise, they could become Infinite Care’s employees, but it was unknown what salary or benefits Infinite Care would be offering. 

Their third option is to lose their jobs. 

The very next day, Julie Diescher and Michelle Huck met with the ACC staff to tell them that they expected this to happen by late July.  You can understand that ACC staff were upset and worried.  They certainly did not feel like valued, important members of the team.  Despite numerous assurances over the last few years that the county would work assiduously with Infinite Care to facilitate the staff’s ability to remain county employees, their unions were nowhere to be found, and apparently nobody cares enough to bother about them as long as their own nests are feathered. Rob Doherty’s plan to privatize the ACC by leasing it and decreasing the county’s “burden” seems to be moving along just as he planned, in time for the upcoming election. 

There will be a lot of opportunities for everyone to tell the Department of Health what they think about our “Healthcare Heroes” getting screwed over like this, or about the less-than-adequate job Infinite Care has done as the facility’s manager, especially how they just keep on admitting patients despite having insufficient staff to meet minimum standards of care requirements, as shown in the department’s  recent survey. 

There will be at least one public hearing, and employees, residents, their caregivers and the staff will be asked to submit feedback to the Department of Health about the change of operator to Infinite Care.  I hope that concerned citizens can present a compelling case to the Department of Health as to why we shouldn’t throw the Adult Care Center’s residents and staff to the wolves.

Lise Kennedy

Neversink, NY

The time is now: save a life and get NARCAN trained 

Last week we learned that Naloxone, commonly known as NARCAN, will soon be available for over-the-counter purchase. This is great news, because easier access will save more lives.

What gets missed by many is that by being NARCAN-trained, you not only may prevent the death of someone dealing with substance use disorder (addiction), you could be saving the life of someone who unknowingly overdosed on a drug laced with fentanyl.

Americans, both young and old, are being poisoned by illegal fentanyl disguised as prescription medication pain relievers. It is also being mixed with other drugs sold on the street.  A recent news report stated fentanyl is even being added to vaping products.

We delude ourselves by thinking that our young people do not have access to drugs. Our children are most vulnerable, because fentanyl is being sold via social media. 

In the ‘80s when I worked as an ER nurse on the Lower East Side, the tagline was “Heroin Kills,” and it still does, but the important message now is “One Pill Can Kill”—because it does.

NARCAN training is just as important as being trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The training is quick and easy, and at the completion of training, each participant receives a free NARCAN kit.

Your business, your organization and you personally can participate in the Ciliberto and Friends Saving Friends collaborative initiative with Sullivan County Public Health and our county’s Drug Task Force members to get everyone trained in NARCAN administration over the next six weeks. 

For more info and to sign up, visit  You’ll be contacted by the public health team to arrange for a training session at your business or organization. Thank you!

Wendy E. Brown R.N., M.S.

Deputy director of Sullivan County Health and Human Services and coordinator of Sullivan County’s Drug Task Force

Column evoked Bemelmans’ ‘Sunshine’

Leah Casner’s delightful column “Early-morning rain” (River Reporter, March 23-29) about the ups and downs of umbrella ownership irresistibly brought to mind one of my favorite children’s books, “Sunshine: A Story About the City of New York” by Ludwig Bemelmans.

Its heroine, Miss Moore, faces eviction when her cantankerous, quiet-loving landlord learns she is running a music school from her apartment and tries to evict her. Desperate to find the money for her next payment, she gets caught in a drenching rain and ducks into a storefront that turns out to be an auction hall, just at the moment an umbrella is offered for bid. Her 10-cent bid is the winner, which pleases her until she learns that the “item” she bought was actually a collection of hundreds of umbrellas lost on the subway and that she is now practically bankrupt. 

Continuing rainstorms inspire her to have her students fan out through New York City and sell the lot at a handsome profit, and at the same time winning her over her landlord. 

The rhyming narrative and author’s own illustrations will remind everyone of the “Madeline” series, which he also wrote. 

Steve Stellman

Kenoza Lake, NY

Honoring Marcia Fink

During National Volunteer Week, I would like to acknowledge Marcia Fink for her exceptional service to the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter.

Marcia has been supporting the Alzheimer’s Association for more than 20 years, spreading awareness about the disease and how the association can help you, and advocating for those dealing with this disease and their loved ones. 

Marcia has also been participating in all of our chapter fundraisers—Subzero Heroes, The Longest Day, and The Walk to End Alzheimer’s—to raise funds to support the work the chapter does. Additionally, she has helped to educate her elected representatives in Congress and the New York State Legislature about public policy issues related to Alzheimer’s. 

Marcia’s dedication to the cause has not gone unnoticed. Without volunteers like her, we would not be able to accomplish our mission of raising funds and awareness to end Alzheimer’s and all dementia.

We are so grateful for all that volunteers like Marcia do to advance our mission for a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Kellee Thelman

Bethel, NY

care center, narcan training, sunshine, ludwig bemelmans, marcia fink,


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here