1199SEIU Healthcare Workers Rally for Quality Care at Western New York Nursing HomesJune 28, 2018
For Immediate Release: June 28, 2018
Caregivers called on NYS Department of Health to take responsibility and repair a flawed system that allows downstate nursing home owners to get rich off the backs of vulnerable nursing home residents
Healthcare workers represented by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, say that “the recent tragic death of a nursing home resident at Emerald South shines a light on ongoing quality care concerns at many Western New York for-profit nursing homes.”
This afternoon, caregivers from across the area came together to take a stand for quality care and demand that the NYS Department of Health do more to ensure that all nursing homes have the staff and resources required to provide the best possible quality care to every resident.
In 2016, news headlines blasted out the tragic death of a resident at Emerald South Nursing Home, pointing to a connection to short staffing at the facility. Despite the pleas of 1199 members in the following years to nursing home owners and the agencies that regulate them, it seems nothing has changed.
Two years later, just weeks ago, there was another catastrophe at Emerald South, which resulted in the death of another resident.
“Our residents deserve better,” says Virginia Holt, a 39-year former-employee of Emerald South. “We are hoping the Department of Health listens to our concerns and helps us to improve things.”
A leaflet distributed at the event says: “It’s time to protect the most frail and vulnerable Western New Yorkers. For-profit nursing home operators, who are often absentee owners expanding their downstate based money-making businesses to upstate regions, are making millions of dollars on the backs of nursing home residents, their families and caregivers. Meanwhile, many of the facilities, including Emerald South, are poorly staffed. They also don’t supply the resources that we need to provide quality care.
We’re doing our best to provide quality care under these challenging circumstances. But it’s time for the nursing home owners, management teams and state regulators at the Department of Health to take responsibility and repair the situation.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in the nation. We represent over 14,500 healthcare workers in Western, NY and over 400,000 total members throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.
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