As many of you have heard, we recently made the difficult but necessary decision to move our skilled nursing operations to a facility in Brighton. The dedicated staff members of Spaulding North End have provided excellent care to residents for many years despite the significant physical and structural limitations of the facility itself. These limitations include bathrooms that are not wheelchair accessible, lack of treatment and administrative space and frequent mechanical problems with the boiler, air conditioning and elevators. Simply stated, the building is not in good enough physical condition to support the future needs of our patients and residents. Our other skilled facility in West Roxbury is also in challenging physical condition and we have decided to bring the operations of the two buildings together in a new location.
We considered many facility options in recent years, including renovation of the current North End building which unfortunately is not a viable alternative. The Brighton facility is newer and in much better physical condition, with ample parking, and we have entered a purchase and sale agreement and hope to own the new building by the end of July. We will then go through the necessary approval processes and make some additional improvements to the building. We anticipate that it will take at least one year before we are able to occupy the new building. This will give us plenty of time to plan the transition into the new facility.
Our current operations and admitting practices will remain the same during this transition. Moreover, long term residents of our North End and West Roxbury facilities will be given the option to move with us to Brighton. We will work with all of these residents and their families to determine the best plan for their individual circumstances, including transportation options to Brighton, and will facilitate a smooth transfer to other facilities if they choose not to move with us to Brighton. The safety of our patients and their families who put their faith in us to care for them is our highest priority. This course of action, though difficult, is the best way to ensure that we can maintain the highest standards of care and safety for our increasingly complex patients for many years to come while remaining within the city of Boston.
We understand that many of you are upset about this change and how it has been communicated. It is important to note that the North End Waterfront Health Center is managed separately from the nursing home and its leadership played no part in this decision. We apologize if people in the community have felt blindsided by this news – our first immediate attention has been directed toward the staff, residents and families in the facilities. We are hopeful that many of the current staff members who are familiar with the care of long term residents at Spaulding North End will transfer with us to Brighton.
We are committed to working with our public officials and the community to have an open and honest dialogue over the course of the next year. We will share with you in more detail why this change is necessary through the public process and community meetings that will take place. We will also work with city and the community in a public process with respect to the disposition of the North End property. We have taken no action whatsoever with the property, contrary to some rumors that it has already been sold. Thank you.
David E. Storto, President, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network