Letter to the North End Community from David Storto, President of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network:
We recognize that our plans to relocate our nursing home operation to Brighton has resulted in significant concern on the part of many people in the community who have a strong desire to keep the services conveniently available to residents of the North End. We are sorry for the inconvenience and greater burden that would result for families who live in the North End. We remain sensitive to these issues and will continue to do all that we can to accommodate the needs of family members to continue to visit their loved ones if they choose to move with us to our new facility in Brighton.
In response to a recent request from North End elected officials led by State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Spaulding has agreed to delay until the end of November the filing of our Determination of Need (“DON”) application to transfer the Spaulding North End skilled nursing license to our new facility in Brighton. We hope that this will allow time to gain commitment from any interested party who may wish to continue the nursing home operations in the North End in accordance with the existing Land Disposition Agreement and the community’s wishes. Spaulding will continue planning on a parallel path with our staff and any long term residents and their families who wish to transfer to Brighton for a move estimated to take place in the fall of 2017.
In a joint statement, Representative Michlewitz, Senator Joe Boncore and Councilor Sal LaMattina stated, “We are extremely grateful that Spaulding has decided to delay the application process in an attempt to allow our community ample opportunity to find a new host provider. We value their support and willingness to continue to maintain an open dialogue on this issue until a satisfactory resolution has been achieved.”
All of us at Spaulding look forward to working with the North End officials in a constructive manner.
In response to the Open Letter in the October 7th issue of the Post-Gazette and other similar claims, I feel it necessary to clarify the financial nature of the purchase and transfer of the North End Nursing Home to Spaulding. Beginning in 2000, Spaulding entered an affiliation agreement with the North End Community Health Committee to take over all operations of the nursing home and assume all outstanding liabilities, including a mortgage in an amount over $6 million dollars. Since 2000, Spaulding and Partners have invested an additional $6 million dollars in a variety of capital improvements, $3 million of which were publicly filed through an initial DON process in 2001. The continued claim that Spaulding received this property and the nursing home for a mere “$1 dollar” is grossly misleading and fails to account for the assumption of nursing home’s significant debt and the capital that has since been invested.
I also would like to address the claim that continually comes up stating that Spaulding has refused admission to long term care residents from the North End. We know of only one instance where this occurred and we regret it and apologize for our mistake in this case. However, we remain concerned and confused by claims that we have refused “dozens of people”. If there are other specific examples where anyone believes this took place, we would like to know about it so that we could look into the matter further.
I am encouraged by our recent discussions with your elected officials and hope that we can work together effectively throughout this process to support the best interest of our patients and the North End community.