Community Health & Environment

North End Nursing Home & Rehab Center to Close Leaving Elderly and Families in Lurch

The North End Nursing Home & Rehab Center, set to close within about a year. Photo by Matt Conti.

The 140-bed North End Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center owned by Partners Healthcare is planning to close in about a year, according to those familiar with the situation. Residents and families are currently being notified of plans to sell the property. Operated by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the nursing and therapy center is located at 70 Fulton Street, on the corner of Richmond, in Boston’s North End neighborhood.

News of the closure has many North End and Downtown Boston families outraged as they scramble to consider options for their loved ones, mostly seniors and elderly, who live and receive nursing care at the facility. Taking to Facebook, several North End residents and family members are vowing to publicly oppose the move saying they “will not go down without a fight.”

“Maybe the city should stop worrying about the stupid bike paths and worry about basic living,” said an infuriated grandson of a resident at the North End nursing home. Partners did not immediately respond with a comment, but staff members have told families the company is very likely to move forward with the sale. (Update: Read an open letter from Spaulding here) Another relative wrote on social media, “So where should our elderly go when living with family or own their own isn’t an option?”

Surging real estate prices in the North End and Downtown Boston could encourage a developer to build luxury apartments or condominiums on the property. At this time, there is no word of a buyer nor even that the sales process has begun.

Opened in 1983 in response to increasing community need for the elderly, the facility was originally owned and operated by the North End Community Health Center (now North End Waterfront Health). The center’s mission was to provide lifecycle care for residents. The nursing home’s location in the neighborhood was selected so that longtime residents could stay in the North End while their families could frequently visit.

In 2000, Partners Healthcare came into the facility and took over full operations in 2001. At the same time, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital introduced therapy services, diversifying the operations beyond being a nursing home.

There are currently sixty beds dedicated to long-term nursing care. Over the years, Spaulding / Partners facility has gradually increased the rehabilitation beds at the expense of nursing care, in an effort to boost profitability. Families have been told that the facility is still not meeting the owners economic needs and needs expensive renovations.

Local officials including Mayor Marty Walsh, City Councilor Sal LaMattina and State Representative Aaron Michlewitz are aware of the plans, although it is unclear if the City or State will have a say in the decision to sell the facility. Partners Healthcare is a private company and has recently announced the closing of another facility in West Roxbury.

State Representative Aaron Michlewitz has been speaking with impacted families. “The recent news of Partners’ decision is both disappointing and disturbing, especially considering we are just learning about this now without any previous community input.” Rep. Michlewitz added, “While I understand the financial constraints Partners faces, the thought of some of our most vulnerable seniors being uprooted from the North End by Partners at this time in their lives is shameful. Working with the neighborhood, I will do everything in my power to protect the quality of life for these seniors and fight to make sure that building remains a place for North End seniors for years to come.”

All patients are expected to be offered relocation to another facility, although those nursing homes are most likely in the outer neighborhoods such as Allston Brighton or beyond Boston’s city limits, in facilities located in Revere and Chelsea. The North End nursing facility is the only one of its kind in Downtown Boston.

Ironically, the Fulton Street parking lot located next door is under consideration for graduated assisted living and development by a non-profit arm of the Boston Archdiocese. The city owned lot has yet to be put up for bid, but preliminary plans have been circulated to abutters via informal meetings.

Many relatives of the sixty long-term residents receiving care at the North End nursing facility live or work in the area, making frequent visits convenient to their loved ones. The move of residents outside of downtown will make it that much more difficult for family and friends to stay connected. Some family members and neighborhood residents told they believe the original promise that the facility would always serve North End seniors is being broken.

45 Replies to “North End Nursing Home & Rehab Center to Close Leaving Elderly and Families in Lurch

  1. Mayor Walsh is more concerned about car racing, lawn games on city hall plaza and defending crooked cohorts than taking care of the best generation. Such a disgrace! One term mayor..

    1. I agree this is a total and complete disgrace to treat the sick elderly people in this manner. Are they going to do the same thing they did to all of us in the Old West End when they took it down; leave us to fend for ourselves to find something? They should be ashamed but they are not; all comes down to the five letter word GREED!

  2. Healthcare is all about economics now. This is the reality. This is the healthcare that the voters voted in.

  3. Very disturbing news for our neighborhood. We are losing our grip on the historical and memorable North End. And this is going to continue, let us not fool ourselves. We are losing the fight.

  4. This is a disgrace that the neighborhood should not accept without a fight. I served on the board of the North End Community Health Center with many other concerned community residents. We marched on city hall and convinced Mayor White to give the land to the North End. Through the volunteer efforts of all of these residents, we were able to develop a nursing home and provide nursing home beds for many residents right here in tbe community. This action destroys the quality of life for all these families. Government officials must intervene! Maybe this is a case where the city should use eminent domain to maintain a needed community asset.

    1. Eminent domain of private property because abutters do not like the legal use? That is a slippery slope.

      1. They don’t care when it comes to money and greed. 7,000 Old West Enders were displaced in the 1950’s many of the older people died they could not take it. Not having to pay fair market value. Turning the West End into parking lots for close to twenty years while the city of Boston made all kinds of money. They claim the lesson was learned from the destroying the West End but looks like history repeating itself only now its not the Boston Housing Authority, Rappaport, and the Political Hacks it is a private corporation.

  5. To hear about the North End Nursing Home being taken away from us is a disgrace and its disgusting how this can happen without the knowledge of the people who are cared for in this nursing home. How dare you!!! All these big shots think about is MONEY the Root of all EVIL not about the human being. Just who do you think you are. Well, GOD will judge all who are evil when the time comes. Just a Disgusting, Disgrace of evil human beings. This is below the belt. How could you even think of doing this.

  6. What an awful shame. I feel for the families now and in the future. The North End people again given a raw deal. Money-grabbers more interested in making more and not caring for the welfare of the most defenseless and needy people.

  7. This is a disgrace!!!! That’s putting it mildly!!! Where will our family members go for rehabilitation? Where will our family members or ourselves, born and raised and living in the North End, go if we have an illness that can’t be taken care of by our loved ones? How will these loved ones get to “Allston Brighton or behold Boston’s city limits, in facilities located in Revere and Chelsea” and God only knows where else, who visit on a daily basis????
    The North End gets screwed each and every time!!!! Where are our politician to fight for this????? (shaking my head over and over)!
    This, I’m sure, has been in the works for a very long time, we, the residents, are just hearing about it!!!
    When and where will there be a meeting about this?
    Let me guess, there will be a highrise put there with either condos we cannot afford.

  8. The Boston City Council recently voted in favor of the Community Preservation Act. If approved by voters in the fall, homeowners will be taxed more in order to provide, among other things, subsidized housing. Why can’t the city subsidize this facility? People will be paying to house strangers while their own loved ones get kicked out. Outrageous.

  9. Sad, sad, sad. Partners is a NON-PROFIT. They don’t need to turn a profit on every facility. That is precisely why they are classified as NON-PROFIT.

    There are no nursing homes close to the North End.

    Hopefully those with standing will start an organized effort. Get the originating documents. What was promised? Who gave what?

  10. This disgraceful decision should not come as a surprise to anyone.Look at how our veterans are treated when it comes to health care.

  11. This is a sad day for the North End. Many local residents helped start the North End Community Health Center and nursing home. Janet Gilardi’s sister, Elaine, was one of the most actively involved and we owe her and many others a debt of gratitude. My children and grandchildren are patients at the health center and the care is excellent.

    Perhaps something good can come of this. The North End Community Health Center is bursting at the seams and cannot expand in its present location.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Partners gifted the building to the North End so the health center could expand? Or, they could trade the Fulton St. property for the one on Hanover St. and sell that.

    I live on Fulton Street and I would much rather see an expanded, modern health center there than more fancy condos.

    1. Nick
      Right on.
      Are you old enough to remember the mantra of the City Hall maggots when they pitched their fluff to the West End residents decades ago?
      “We’ll provide affordable housing for all displaced in addition to upscale residents”.
      That never happened, and marshmallow fluff promises here won’t either.
      Times change. Peope don’t.

      1. The “affordable housing” promised turned out to be the Charles River Apt Complex.One of the ploys the city used to show the public that the WEST End was a garbage infested “slum” was to dispatch DPW workers who dumped trash in the streets followed by city officials to photograph the “deplorable conditions” in the neighborhood.

      2. I am old enough to remember the West End and my wife was born there on Charles St. I remember going to a block hop in the Wall St. playground. Wonderful people lived there, The problem was, they were poor and the city wanted to attract a more upscale clientele. Sound familiar?
        The BRA stopped servicing the neighborhood, trash wasn’t collected, street repairs weren’t done, utilities were turned off and rumors were spread through the press that the neighborhood was a rat infested slum.
        It’s an old but very effective trick.

  12. We opened the Nursing Home in 1983 with the slogan “Con Amore”. The city gives North End Residents NO LOVE – it is shameful. And Note about the news on:

    the Fulton Street parking lot located next door is under consideration for graduated assisted living and development by a non-profit arm of the Boston Archdiocese. The city owned lot has yet to be put up for bid, but preliminary plans have been circulated to abutters via informal meetings.

    I was at that ‘informal meeting’ and was told even AFTER they would build the facility in OUR area and our stress during construction and the loss of parking we STILL as North End residents would not have first preference.

    I think the North End is getting duped again.

  13. I am saddened by this terrible news. To forfeit something so vital and important, and continue to change the face of the neighborhood all for greedy development. I feel very sorry for all the families affected by this. When will enough be enough?

  14. Absolutely Disgraceful.
    What can we do?
    Many of us have aging family who would prefer to stay nearby.

    Days gone by we longtime NE residents could have organized and just offered to buy the building back, and control it ourselves.

    Is that possible now?

  15. Sadly the North End has become a community for only those who can afford it while the concept of community extends only as far as one’s self interest. Partners doesn’t care about community, family, tradition, or the other values that made the North End what it is today. They’ll simply cash out. Every man for himself. SHAME!!!!

  16. Peter, your right. I remember when Boschetto’s Bakery was ” forced out” tradition & community doesn’t mean anything anymore.Of course some would say that it was only a bakery and that’s true but it’s not the point.Closing this facility impacts human beings & families & the quality of life . SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. My Great Aunt was in this facility..IT IS A DISGUSTING PLACE AND SHOULD BE CLOSED!!!!! This place is so far from a “Neighborhood Nursing Home” I have never witnessed the likes of it….the least compassionate staff and a filthy facility

    1. One of the not-so-clever ploys large institutions use when they want to close a facility is to stop maintaining it. It soon starts looking shop worn and ragged, clients leave and relatives spread the word about how filthy the facility has become.
      The answer isn’t closing it down. Why not spend some money and upgrade the facility to first class status?

        1. I agree that it needs 110% overhaul if it is to stay open. It’s a shame they let it get so bad and the neighborhood suffers for it. How do you fight the establishment?

  18. The elderly are on the verge of being basically EVICTED from a nursing home/rehab center & someone is complaining about a dog urinating?

  19. This is a disgrace!! closing the north end nursing home will also ruin the family unit–most people in the north end dont have cars and they visit their relatives at the north end nursing home daily by walking a short walk now they expect themn to take trains and buses to allston and brighton etc. this is unconstitutional!! come on pols do your job!! have some compassion for our north end elderly–after all we are the ones who had that built not the govt. again a disgrace!!!!

    Frankie Imbergamo

  20. Like sands through the hour glass, the last granules of the old North End are cascading down to the bottom, and it is hard to watch.
    Nothing seems to elude us more than time.
    This is why we are obsessed with recording time.
    Ultimately time most often becomes our nemesis, as I sit here and type, time slips through my fingers and I can’t grasp it or hold onto it.
    The restructuring of this once historic neighborhood is almost complete, attrition was supposed to be the main entree on this menu.
    However, let’s face it; private industry is not going to wait for the last of the seniors to pass on.

    The time has come to just rely on our memory, the recordings in our minds, our photos, important dates, and a neighborhood that yes! has evolved over the course of time, like the the tides of an ocean slowly restructure the coastlines and beaches on its shores, methodically washing the new in and drawing the old out to sea.
    It is sad but most of us do not have the ability to manage time, we seem to always be grasping at past time.
    Although, capitalism has always seemed to be the master of managing time, it has the illusion of the fast forward button on your Dvr.

    Where the hell did that time go?

    Yes! as you walk through the streets of the North End you still can see lots of remnants, but that is just brick and mortar, you won’t ever see the North end as you once knew it.

    The once true little Italy, the heritage, the culture, the families, the friendships, the respect, the caring, the sharing, and of course capitalism’s nemesis, poverty.

    Well farewell North End, I guess i’ll be seeing you in the recordings of time in my mind, yeah the rewind feature, you know the one capitalism likes to use to show us how great the present time is now, so they don’t feel guilty for fast forwarding the the time we once cherished.
    The closing of this The Fulton street facility ( North End Nursing Home ) will be a very sad day for many, and a prosperous day for a few.

    Unless we use our most elusive commodity to FIGHT THIS TIME!!!
    We may not win, but we can certainly add the good fight to the recordings in our minds.
    Yeah! remember the North End.

    Richard Montemarano

  21. I have read every article on this post about the north end nursing home. We ALL feel the same about our elderly they depend on us. It is totally unfair that this should happen WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT? Can we get all the north end residents to attend a meeting to try to find out the best way to SAVE our nursing home. Can we get lawyers pro- bono to get the original paper work. What is the best way to go about this other than getting our elderly anymore upset than what they are. I’m willing to listen and do whatever we can to hold this up until we can get the proper answers. We need to SAVE this nursing home. Marie

  22. As North Enders , we all , have had love ones and friends at the North End Nursing Home at one time or another .
    As an internist , board-certified geriatrics with over 30 years of experience.
    As the medical director of the nursing home with a rehab center , I know the value of a nursing home facility to it’s community and its most vulnerable residence , the elderly.

    The Truth is , the responsible party to sell a valued Community institution is Partners Health Care.
    As a nonprofit Organization with tax exempt status , Partners Health Care has an obligation to provide community benefits to maintain it’s tax exempt status . Closing a treasured and valued community institution for a profit is a violation of its tax exempt status .
    This is a serious matter for the Attorney General to decide .

    As a community , we need to galvanize our political leaders , neighborhood council members , business leaders and residents to prevent the closure of this treasured institution .

    For the North End to succeed in this matter , it would need the support of Major Martin J. Walsh.
    For Major Walsh has experience in these matters . He single-handedly prevented the closure of the Carney Hospital in his community in the past .
    There’s no doubt with his support , this task is achievable , especially during this election year .
    Would the residence of the South Boston Community accept the Closure of the Marian Manor ?
    Then why should we !

    Ron Gomes MD

    1. Ron, you hit the nail right on the head. I think we should also reach out to the A.C.L.U. (American
      Civil Liberties Union), a strong organization. Anything is worth a try, but time is passing and I have
      not heard anything about the neighborhood getting together to solve this ungodly problem.

    2. Ron we are having a meeting with ALL for the closing of the nursing home nazzaro center at 7:30 June 13th PLEASE try to make it. Marie Simboli

  23. As a North Ender I have faith Aaron will do his best to keep the best interests of our neighborhood going forward. This is disturbing news to say the least but having a Representative who has been part of our community his whole life, we will have a fighting chance.

  24. Marty Walsh support? You are dreaming Ro
    Ronnie. he’s a one term hack with idiots running the show. I know, I worked there 42 years!


  25. Anyone who believes Partners is a “non-profit” need only look at the enormous building it will be moving into soon at Assembly Row.

    Partners and the rest of the “elite” healthcare institutions here and in other cities have destroyed economic value for decades. No other industry can boast such a meteoric cost inflation with zero corresponding quality improvement.

    It’s a shame to see this much needed facility go. But don’t kid yourselves: Partners is not a benevolent institution, and it will do whatever the profit optimization formula tells them to do.

    1. nonsense. first, partners is probably saving money by consolidating to a building outside of boston proper. second, i do not think having two of the best hospitals (mgh & bw) in the entire world is has hurt the city of boston (or its residents that need jobs, treatment, etc.). third, do not get non-profit and charity confused.

  26. Pretty sure Partners will be realizing a nice profit from the sale of the building.

    I am happy to post reams of data showing a negative correlation between relative cost and quality.

    I agree these places are good for the economy re: jobs etc, but my point is they are a profit driven machine. Just recall the simultaneous surgery scandal.

  27. Dog parks are a priority, people putting themselves on.north end waterfront committee to vote in there buddies who run businesses.people using handicap spots shouldn’t be there, and all the old timers they are pushing them out of there own neighborhood and allowing outsiders to replace them in subsidized housing you voted in the wrong politians to fight for the real north Enders then to take away handicap spots and the nerve to shut down a nursing home that is appauling partners and your stTe officials should be ashamed. Don’t worry about dog parks, new plants and greenway that a fortune is spent on and the obsession with it worry about humanity governed step up to the plate.

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