Holyoke Mayor raises concerns with Geriatric Authority of Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)-  The city of Holyoke is asking the state to get involved in the closing process at the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse says the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke does not have enough resources to make it through their closure plan, which extends until May 13th.

“I’ve unfortunately come to the realization that the Board of Directors is no longer capable of doing what is best for the future of the Geriatric Authority. Their communication to the public and the state has been anything but clear or accurate and truthful.  And their violation of state laws leaves me to question their ability to continue doing their job,” Morse said.

The nursing home cannot be closed until all 68 residents have been relocated, but the Geriatric Authority cannot legally mandate the transfer of more than 5 to 7 patients a day, Morse said.  Some of the residents have already left voluntarily.

Mayor  Morse says that the nursing home doesn’t have enough food to last 2 or 3  weeks.

There is no longer a vendor to provide food to the nursing home and there is no longer a vendor to provide physical therapy, Morse said.  That means  patients who need physical therapy treatment are currently not receiving it.
Morse also said, that even with cash from Medicare coming in, the Authority is only able to make payroll for another 3 or 4 weeks to employees.

Mayor Morse and Dan Clifford, the President of the United Food and Commercial Workers 1459 (which represents many of the workers at the Geriatric Authority), have officially asked the  State Department of Public Health to provide assistance.

Mayor Morse says  Attorney General Martha Coakley has been asked to take action and  initiate receivership.
A receivership could encompass:

  • Approval of a state contracted food vendor.
  • Designate a nursing home provider to run the facility until closing.
  • The state would provide resources to fund the process of the 60 day transition, which includes finding all 68 residents a place to stay.

The closing announcement came six months after a state audit found that the Geriatric Authority owed the city more than $2 million dollars of debt since June 2012.

Mayor Morse also alleges that the Board of Directors has sought out acquiring a private loan, knowing that it can not be paid off.

For those residents that will be transferred.  Staff must find them a long-term care facility within a 25-mile radius.  And find the best matching facility based on the resident’s medical needs.
The Board of Directors is expected to have another special closed-door meeting Wednesday.

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