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Schenectady
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Closure Imminent for Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center

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SCHENECTADY — Ellis Medicine, on Tuesday, unveiled its decision to shut down the 82-bed nursing‍ home located on its McClellan Street campus ⁣in Schenectady. This move,⁤ according to the administrators, has ⁣been under consideration for several years as part of a plan to sell ‌the 18-acre property ⁣where the facility is situated.

The exact closure ⁢date for the Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center is yet ⁤to be determined. However, the idea to⁤ close the facility was first brought up about five years ago ⁣during a real estate and services evaluation, as stated ​by Paul Milton, the president and CEO ⁣of Ellis Medicine.

“After a thorough examination of the entire McClellan campus, we concluded that we no longer required that campus. ​Furthermore, we realized that we didn’t need or want to continue operating in the nursing home⁤ sector,” he‌ explained.

The decision to close the facility comes after a fruitless two-year nationwide search ​for an operator to buy the facility, which currently houses fewer than 50 residents and‍ employs 75 staff members.

Ellis is committed to retaining all nursing home staff and is actively seeking positions for them within the hospital system. The administrators are ⁤also reaching out to regional nursing homes to explore alternative employment opportunities for those⁤ who wish to leave⁢ Ellis Medicine.

The healthcare provider is also collaborating with residents and their families to find new nursing homes and has scheduled a community meeting on June 26 at the Robb‌ Auditorium at the McClellan Street Health Center from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Chris Jordan, the chief operation officer of Ellis Medicine, revealed that the hospital submitted a closure plan to the state Department‌ of ⁣Health on May 17, after two months of discussions with ​the department. ⁤The‍ plan received approval ‍last Wednesday.

“We’ve been working closely with the agency from the very beginning,” he said. “We’ve been diligently‌ following their ‍guidance‌ and leadership‍ throughout this process, including ‌the criteria and process to relocate ⁤or transfer these patients to area nursing homes.”

According to Ellis administrators, the ‍plans include: evaluating each resident’s need for continued skilled nursing care; assisting residents in finding suitable alternative facilities; partnering with community organizations for discharge planning and case management; providing medical records, care plans, and medication orders at ‍new facilities; working at residents’ pace during the transition and arranging ⁢transportation ⁣to new​ care facilities.

The state Department of Health confirmed last week that the closure ‌plan was approved and meets “established regulations and guidelines which include, at minimum, that the residents’ freedom to choose among residential options is preserved.”

Jordan stated‌ that the aim is to close‌ the nursing home by mid-August, but he emphasized that the facility will remain​ open until the⁣ last resident is relocated.

“We will stay open as long as necessary to ensure adequate and appropriate ‌placement for the safe transfer of every single resident currently housed at ‌the ⁣nursing home,” he affirmed.

For years, Ellis Medicine has been striving⁢ to transition away from its expansive ⁢McClellan Street campus ⁣by shifting services to ⁣Ellis Hospital and the Bellevue Woman’s⁤ Center in Niskayuna to enhance efficiency ⁢and patient experience.

As a result, the McClellan Street campus ⁢is 80% vacant — equivalent to 295,000 square feet. The hospital system ⁣spends approximately $5 million annually ​to ⁣maintain it.

The objective is to ⁢find a developer to repurpose the campus, which also houses several‍ “back-office functions.” There is no set timeline for⁤ when these⁤ plans might progress, ⁣according to Jordan, who ​said that closing⁤ the⁤ nursing home​ is a⁤ significant step ‍towards‍ achieving these plans.

Under future redevelopment plans, Ellis would continue to operate its primary care/Family Health Center and the Belanger School of Nursing at the campus.

“There are⁣ so many different factors at play that we can’t commit to any⁣ specific timeline,” Jordan said.

Milton stated that closing the facility will result in a “net-plus financially” for the hospital, which has been in talks about merging with St. Peter’s ⁤Health Partners in Albany due ⁤to financial concerns. For the past several years, Ellis ‌has ‌been operating‍ under a management services agreement that allows SPHP⁣ to manage certain aspects of the hospital.

Milton said that SPHP⁣ is aware of the nursing home​ closure‌ and has given “positive responses”

“This move puts Ellis in a better financial position as we no longer have ⁣to ‍maintain⁢ this large piece of property, and it allows‍ Ellis ⁢to concentrate on‍ our core services and what we need to do in this‌ community,” he said. “As we⁣ mentioned earlier, there are other nursing homes in the area that can care for these 50⁣ residents, so from a St. Peter’s perspective, it’s not a core⁢ service they are looking at that Ellis needs to be⁤ doing.”

The county also expressed its support for the patients of the⁢ facility and the redevelopment of the property ‍in a statement released⁤ on Tuesday⁣ evening.

“We understand that ‌people are concerned about the facility closing and want to reassure ⁤the community that our top priority is to ensure all patients receive the care they need,” county Legislature Chair Gary Hughes said in a statement. ‍”The New York State Department ‍of Health is working diligently to ‌find new beds for these patients, and the County is ready to assist as needed. While the residents are our ​main ⁤concern, we also understand ‍that there⁢ is concern ‍in the community about ⁣the future of this large campus in the heart of our‌ city. Our unified ⁣economic development team is committed to working with Ellis to ensure that​ this valuable site in the ​heart of the City, ⁣adjacent to Central Park, is redeveloped as⁢ an asset to the neighborhood and the City.”

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Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Agree – It’s sad to see another healthcare facility closing down. I hope the residents are able to find new homes quickly.

  2. Agree – This closure will have a significant impact on the residents and their families. It’s important to ensure they are properly taken care of during this transition.

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