Tonawanda Nursing Home Workers Show Appreciation To Their Residents in Celebration of Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2024

1199SEIU Logo 1@3x.pngPress Release: February 13, 2024
Contact: April Ezzell, (716) 449-1620
1199SEIU Communications

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Tonawanda, New York  On Valentine’s Day, Tonawanda Nursing Home workers at Schofield Residence will show dedication to providing quality care for residents with a special Valentine’s Day ceremony.  

Caregivers will spend extra time with residents, handing out flowers and special Valentine’s to make residents feel more at home inside the Tonawanda care facility. Nursing home residents require 24-hour medical care with proper staffing levels to meet their needs but at facilities like Schofield, Medicaid doesn’t cover the full cost of providing care.  Caregivers are highlighting the collaboration between Union and Management in providing care and asking the state and Governor to do their part to fund this care.

We are proud of the hard work and care our staff provide our residents, but our daily loss due to the current Medicaid reimbursement rate is simply unsustainable,” said Olivia Rozycki, Administrator of Schofield Residence.  

The Valentine’s Ceremony comes as workers across the state continue their Medicaid equity campaign for full funding in this year’s New York state budget. Medicaid only covers 76% of the cost of providing care in nursing homes and 9 out of 10 homes in Upstate fall below the average reimbursement rate.

Healthcare workers continue to shine a light on the dire need for full Medicaid funding to nursing homes and hospitals in Governor Kathy Hochul’s backyard, by showing the public the extra care and special attention their residents need in their home every day.  Nursing home and hospital workers are part of a statewide effort calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to increase Medicaid reimbursements to cover the full cost of care for residents in nursing homes like Schofield Residence and hospitals across the state. 

WHAT: Valentine’s Day Ceremony

WHO: Nursing home workers
A few residents and family members 

WHENWednesday, February 14, 2024 at 3:00 PM 

WHERE: Schofield Residence Nursing Facility, 3333 Elmwood Ave, Tonawanda, NY 14217

On Background

Chronic and inadequate Medicaid funding leaves many nursing homes in New York state struggling.  The Covid pandemic exposed staffing issues in many nursing homes but underfunding of Medicaid continues to exacerbate the healthcare crisis across Western New York.  

Schofield Residence is one of the last non-profit facilities in the state1. About 60% of residents at Schofield have Medicaid as their primary health insurance to cover the cost of their care2 which is approximately $345-$350 per resident, per day. Medicaid only reimburses Schofield $202 per day per resident which is among the lowest across the state3 (Medicaid Parts B & D Eligible Rate) and is at the bottom of the 6th percentile4.

New York State’s chronic underfunding of Medicaid contributes to poor health outcomes largely in the Black and Latino communities, particularly affecting low-income seniors, expectant mothers, young children from low-income families, and people with disabilities. Some 43% of children in the city of Buffalo live in poverty, many of whom rely on Medicaid health insurance for their care. 

Over seven million New Yorkers rely on Medicaid for their healthcare, many in Western New York. Even though Medicaid provides vital coverage to these New Yorkers, the state pays hospitals 30% less than the actual cost of care hospitals and 24% less to nursing homes.  As a result of this underfunding, hospitals and nursing homes in New York continue to struggle financially more than in the rest of the U.S.— with nearly two-thirds of NY hospitals facing operating deficits. Ninety-percent of nursing homes in Western New York have Medicaid reimbursement rates that fall below the statewide average, compounding staffing shortages and pushing facilities to the financial brink.

Without sufficient funding in the Governor’s final budget, many nursing homes and hospitals cannot invest in programs or infrastructure that benefit patients and residents and communities they serve. In WNY, Eastern Niagara Hospital abruptly closed, Mount St. Mary’s Hospitals has closed service lines and some nursing homes are on the brink of closure. Overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms and staffing issues in nursing homes are a real threat to the continuum of care for all patients and residents across the state and the Governor must invest the funds necessary to fix the healthcare crisis in New York state now.  


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 New York State, Health Data NY, Nursing Home Profile, last updated February 9, 2024, available online at:

2 [iv] New York State Department of Health, 2021 RHCF-4 Cost Report, Schofield Residence, Opcert # 1404300, Part 1-3, Bed Capacity – Patient Days. 

3 [ii] New York State Department of Health, Nursing Home Rates, Nursing Home Pricing, Current rates, July 1, 2023 Nursing Home Rates, available online at:

4 New York State Department of Health, Nursing Home Rates, Nursing Home Pricing, Current rates, July 1, 2023 Medicaid Parts B&D Eligible Rate, Percent Rank of Schofield Residence’s (Opcert # 1404300) Rate to all NYS Nursing Home Rates.