Community Health & Environment

North End Nursing Home Hearing at Boston City Council Brings All Parties to the Table

Armed with signs, residents packed the Boston City Council chamber for the hearing on the fate of the North End Nursing Home.

Officials and residents packed the Boston City Council chamber on Tuesday night, yet the operator of the North End Nursing Home said it still plans to close down the 140-bed facility in about a year.

For its part, the Boston Redevelopment Authority confirmed that restrictions on the property, designated under urban renewal, must be used for a nursing home and the BRA does not intend to relax those restrictions.

North End residents, especially those with family members in the nursing facility, spoke with passion and anger about the closing of the nursing home and its devastating impact on the neighborhood and its elderly residents. Those sentiments were echoed by the hearing sponsor, City Councilor Sal LaMattina, among others councilors who attended including Tito Jackson, Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi George. Also at the hearing were State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, State Sen. Joe Boncore and representatives from Mayor Walsh’s office.

David Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (Partners Healthcare), said the company will file in the next few months with the State Department of Public Health to close the North End and West Roxbury nursing home / rehab facilities. Patients will be offered space in a renovated Brighton property in about a year. Storto’s testimony emphasized the deteriorating condition of the property, similar to statements made at a June 2016 meeting in the North End.

Still, North End residents and its local officials vowed to keep up the fight. A petition has over 2,000 signatures while a neighborhood steering committee works with legal advisors on how to preserve the nursing home in the North End.

Support from the BRA’s Director, Brian Golden, appeared strong at the hearing. Although Spaulding/Partners cannot be forced to keep open the facility, the property itself must be used for nursing care, according to the BRA. This restriction severely reduces the possibility that other uses, such as condos, would be approved at the location. It also opens the door for another nursing home operator to purchase the property and take over operations.

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.

View all our coverage on the North End Nursing Home.


6 Replies to “North End Nursing Home Hearing at Boston City Council Brings All Parties to the Table

  1. perhaps those 2,000 people who signed the petition should pool their money and buy and operating the nursing home. i am not sure partners has any obligation to continue to operate a money-losing operation. as i have said before, partners is a non-profit – not a charity.

    1. Actually, Partners is a charitable corporation. I will grant you that, in this case, they are not particularly acting like one.

  2. My uncle who lives on North Street was in the Rehab section of the nursing home two weeks ago. He’s ninety five years old and was sent there by MGH to recover from a serious infection.
    He received excellent care at the nursing home. The staff were attentive and skilled and his son could visit him daily by just walking around the corner.
    Our nursing home is a wonderful resource for North End residents. When it was built the land was not worth much because of the elevated expressway. Now, with the Greenway, the land is worth a fortune. Once again poor, vulnerable residents are being pushed aside because the land is worth more than the people.

  3. Dear mr truth and anyone else that is uneducated on the northend nursing home

    The land it’s self was put in place for a nursing home facility. Now a nursing home facility is not just for elderly, but for long term illnesses where loved ones can not keep them home. Yes partners maybe a nonprofit, but they know how to put millions and millions into other places. A comment that the 2000 people should pool their money is a joke because the reason our loved ones are there is because we can not afford to keep them home. Partners wants out of the nursing home business which is fine, but as a unit we can all help to find a suitable provider. And on one final note, when a resident gets checked into a nursing home. The provider gets every cent out of the family to pay so please know your facts before speaking.

  4. Truth, The Spaulding No. End Facility was named among the best Nursing Homes in Mass. in 2010 by U.S. News & World Report.
    They also received a 5-Star rating from the centers for Medicare (CMS) and a 100% deficiency-free survey in 2011 by Mass.
    Dept. of Public Health (DPH). They boasted about this on their Website. Could these accreditations have taken place in a
    facility which Partners claims to be obsolete? Storto open letter states safety & priority of their patients & their families are
    Partners Highest Priority. Has safety not been a priority while they have operated under these deteriorating conditions for years?
    What were the options. Who was engaged or part of the discussions & resolution process over the years? What options
    were not viable. This was written by a No. End Resident. Now these are my own thoughts. I heard that Spaulding was
    offered $30 Million for this property & they decided to throw our Seniors aside like they were dirty socks & offered to place
    them in another facility which is in deplorable conditions & has encountered floods that made it impossible for the families to see their
    love ones. Money the Root of all Evil. SPAULDING, A non-profit GREEDY organization. The SPRINGHOUSE SENIOR LIVING in Jamaica
    Plain is suppose to be an outstanding facility & a former employee said the seniors had unbelievable care. The telephone
    no. is 888 901 7164 44 Alandale St. Jamaica Plain. The bottom line is they made Spaulding an offer they didn’t want to
    refuse. I hope the BRA stands behind the facts & continues to keep this location as a Nursing & Rehab Facility. We are being
    surrounded by Condo & Apt. Bldgs & certainly do not need another one. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. I don’t
    trust Spaulding & I hope that someone in the community reaches out to the above Facility & see if they are interested in taking
    over where Spaulding left off. I think it is wonderful that we live in such a Prosperous City, but not at the Expense of our Seniors.
    Those that are lucky enough to have Family Members who visit them are fortunate, but what about those who have absolutely
    nobody to visit them? Do they get Punished for getting older & have nobody to look after them? There are people who have
    lived there for years & those people who have no family & think of the staff & other residents as their family. Were their feelings
    taken into consideration? Absolutely not. All that glitters in not always Gold, sometimes what looks like Gold is Poison.
    I visit someone once a month up the Don Orione in East Boston & I can honestly tell you the No. End Rehab & Nursing
    home looks like Caesar’s Palace next to this much older facility. Storto is insulting our intelligence. How can you open a Nursing
    Home if the Bathrooms are not Wheelchair accessible? The Elevators were always slow, this is nothing new. I would imagine
    they are slow because of those that are in wheelchairs & those that are not as mobile. Whatever we have to do to keep this
    facility, let’s do it, we have had far too many things taken away from us for the LOVE OF MONEY.

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