Nursing Home Workers To Hold Informational Picket Over Chronic Staffing Concerns in Williamsville

March 29, 2023

Contact:, 1199SEIU Communications (716)449-1620

Some owners of Comprehensive at Williamsville under investigation by NYS Attorney General for alleged misuse of $18 Million in Medicaid funding for personal profit, while residents were neglected and suffered due to chronic understaffing1

WHO: Nursing Home workers

WHAT: Informational Picket

WHEN: Friday, March 31, 2023 from 2:00pm-4:00pm

WHERE: Comprehensive Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Williamsville 147 Reist St, Williamsville, NY 14221

WHY? Approximately 43 nursing home workers at a 142 bed facility in Williamsville have been working without a union contract since December 31, 2022 when their 3-year contract expired. Negotiations for a new union contract began one month before the contract expired. To date management has met with the union only 5 times, which is significantly less than negotiations being held at other nursing facilities. Nursing home workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union in the country.

Caregivers are asking their employer to provide better working conditions and to offer competitive wages and a pension to help retain and recruit more workers at the facility in Williamsville. Chronic short staffing and the employer’s offer of minimum wage are key issues in contract talks. Comprehensive at Williamsville is a one-star facility which in recent years has seen high staff turnover rates – notably higher than the national average according to US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services[2].

“Short staffing effects the quality of care, said Ivan Tidwell, Licensed Practical Nurse. “We don’t have enough staff to cover the shifts and the residents might suffer because their care is delayed. We need more in-house workers to help to take care of our residents and to do that we need a fair contract,” said Tidwell.

Recruiting and retaining long-term employees is key to continuity of care for residents. “I’ve been here 27 years and we need to make a change,” said Sally Beiter, Dietary Aide. I have to think about retirement and can’t do that without a pension and better wages,” said Beiter.

Comprehensive Nursing & Rehabilitation at Williamsville owners have ties to Villages of Orleans and are named in the NYS Attorney General’s lawsuit against the Villages at Orleans. According to NYS Department of Health, the owners of Comprehensive at Williamsville are Ephram Lahasky, David Gast, Joshua Farkovits, Samuel Halper, Debbie Korngut, Teresa Lichtstein, and Jeffrey Arem[3]. All owners are named in the lawsuit except Jeffrey Arem.

Nursing home workers at Comprehensive Nursing & Rehabilitation at Williamsville work as Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Housekeeping Aides, Laundry Aides, Dietary Cooks, and Dietary Aides.


Some of the undisclosed owners of Comprehensive at Williamsville are also cited as defendants in the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit against Villages of Orleans including Ephraim Lahasky, David Gast, Samuel Halper, Joshua Farkovitis, Teresa Lichtschein, and her daughter in law Debbie Korgnut.

The New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit against Villages of Orleans owners years of financial fraud which resulted in resident neglect and harm. Part of the lawsuit alleges that the owners misused more than $18 million in Medicaid funding to increase personal profits through related party transactions[4]. The lawsuit alleges that owners too advantage of the state’s Medicaid funding to increase their personal profits instead of using funds to properly staff the facility and to invest in resident care.

“Under New York law, owners of nursing homes have a special obligation to provide a high level of care and quality of life for residents,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The Villages’ owners failed in their duty to residents by engaging in a scheme to divert funds away from the facility to increase their personal profit, drastically cutting staff at the facility to do so,” said James.

The lawsuit alleges that a history of insufficient staffing and low quality of care is traceable to the owner’s financial scheme to divert funding for residents to their personal profits.


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

[1] Attorney General James Sues Orleans County Nursing Home for Years of Fraud and Resident Neglect | New York State Attorney General (

[2] US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Nursing Homes including rehab services data archive, 2016-2023, Provider Info, available online at:

[3] NYS DOH, 2020 RHCF-4 Cost Report, Comprehensive at Williamsville, Opcert # 1421308, Prefatory-1, Ownership Information Operations.

[4] Attorney General James Sues Orleans County Nursing Home for Years of Fraud and Resident Neglect | New York State Attorney General (