Residents were in a congratulatory mood on Monday night as Spaulding (Partners Healthcare) presented plans that will keep open the North End Nursing and Rehab Center by transferring and ultimately selling the facility to Marquis Health Services (Tryko Partners).
Spaulding President David Storto was met with a gracious reception from the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC), members of the neighborhood steering committee and local elected officials.
It was June 2016 when the NEWNC crowd chided Storto for initially planning to close the facility. That meeting started the “Save the North End Nursing Home” movement, complete with petitions, letters and a public protest at the Mayor’s Coffee Hour. A neighborhood steering committee was formed and local public officials began the campaign to find a new operator for the nursing home. City Councilor Sal LaMattina called for a hearing in front of the City Council where the Boston Redevelopment Authority explained the details of the key Land Disposition Agreement established under urban renewal. The LDA requires the property to be used as a nursing facility, staving off speculation of luxury condos being built in its place.
With further encouragement from Mayor Marty Walsh, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and State Sen. Joe Boncore, Partners/Spaulding delayed its plans and worked with the community to find a new operator. As announced last week, Marquis Health Services will assume the nursing home license and invest $4 million into renovations. Support of the effort extended beyond the North End with the at-large City Councilors, House Speaker DeLeo and former Senate President Robert Travaglini, who was in attendance at Monday’s North End meeting.
Storto explained that Marquis will be in a better position to run a profitable nursing and rehab facility because it won’t be forced to take on high cost patients from Mass. General Hospital that will most likely go to Partners/Spaulding’s new facility in Brighton. However, Marquis will admit patients on Medicaid similar to other nursing/rehab facilities.
NEWNC President John Pregmon made a point of calling out the neighborhood steering committee members to thank them for their efforts. Committee members were Chair Alissa Passacantilli Tizzano, Louis Strazzullo, Jason Aluia, Francine Gannon, Pam Donnaruma, Philip Frattaroli, Marie Simboli, Maria Stella Gulla, Victor Brogna, Maria Lanza, Luigi Natale and Patrick Lyons.
Details of the year-long transition from Spaulding to Marquis are explained in this previous article and discussed in the above meeting video. At the end of the meeting, steering committee member Victor Brogna reminded the audience that the subject urban renewal authority is due to expire in 5 years, at which time the “nursing facility” LDA will expire with it. The group voiced a commitment to work on alternative plans that will ensure the future of the nursing home either through language in the deed transfer to Marquis or other means.