Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

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Maloney, Skoufis Ask DOH for System-Wide Investigation of Sapphire Nursing and Rehab Facilities in the Hudson Valley

Feb 22, 2018
Press Release
DOH Investigation Found Significant Violations at Goshen Facility, Maloney Continues to Receive Complaints Regarding Fishkill Facility

Newburgh, NY – After the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced it had uncovered serious violations at Sapphire Nursing and Rehab in Goshen, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Assemblyman James Skoufis asked the department to broaden its investigation to include all Sapphire facilities in the Hudson Valley. Rep. Maloney’s office has continued to receive complaints about Sapphire’s facility in Fishkill similar to those he received about the facility in Goshen.

“The State’s investigation confirmed some of our worst fears in Goshen, and we’re hearing similar complaints about the facility in Fishkill – it looks like we’re seeing a pattern of neglect and understaffing that is absolutely unacceptable,” said Rep. Maloney. “We need DOH on the ground at all Sapphire facilities to ensure our seniors are getting the care they need and that Sapphire is complying with the law.”

“Sadly, it appears the neglect and severe understaffing at the Goshen facility may be part of a pattern of mismanagement by Sapphire,” said Assemblyman James Skoufis. “Last week, the state Department of Health confirmed many of our worst fears about the conditions in Goshen. They must continue to be held accountable. Furthermore, I join Congressman Maloney in urging the state to look into Sapphire’s other Hudson Valley facilities to ensure our seniors receive the care they deserve and our families know their loved ones are in good hands.” 

In January, Rep. Maloney and Assemblyman James Skoufis asked the Department of Health to investigate Sapphire Nursing and Rehab in Goshen after receiving numerous complaints. Although the investigation was ongoing, on February 12, the lawmakers then asked Sapphire for a formal response to a number of questions raised by constituents, Sapphire employees, and the Times Herald-Record newspaper. In response to that letter, Sapphire allowed the officials and a journalist to tour their facility. On February 16, the DOH released a statement chastising Sapphire in Goshen, and providing the facility a week to offer a plan to come into compliance with relevant laws. Rep. Maloney’s office has received several additional complaints about a second facility in Fishkill in Dutchess County.

In addition to the Goshen and Fishkill facilities, Sapphire operates nursing homes in Wappingers Falls and Newburgh. In 2017, Sapphire acquired four nursing homes in the Hudson Valley formerly operated by Elant, a nonprofit group. Since taking over the facilities, Sapphire’s facility in Goshen has been criticized for cutting its nursing staff by 54% and failing to provide adequate hydration, nutrition, and hygienic care.

The text of the letter is below and an original copy is available here.

 

Dear Commissioner Zucker,

We write today to thank you for your outstanding work investigating the Sapphire Nursing and Rehab facility in Goshen, NY. Your leadership is exemplary, and we appreciate your focus on protecting the health and wellbeing of seniors. We’re also writing today to ask for a comprehensive, system-wide investigation of Sapphire Nursing and Rehab facilities in the Hudson Valley. We have continued to receive complaints from residents of other Sapphire facilities consistent with the violations found in Goshen. This appears to be part of a wider pattern of mismanagement and neglect which threatens the safety of Sapphire residents throughout New York.  

Your investigation confirmed horrifying reports we received from constituents concerned about their loved ones. But, it appears the issues with Sapphire may not be isolated to the facility in Goshen. These complaints include similar issues including:

  • Dangerous levels of understaffing
  • Issues with caring for residents’ hygiene, including failure to promptly change soiled clothing
  • Failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration

Your investigation confirmed some of our worst fears about the Goshen facility. We cannot allow similar violations to continue at other Sapphire sites. We ask that you conduct formal investigations at all other Sapphire-owned properties in New York. Our offices would be happy to provide any assistance necessary to ensure our seniors receive proper care.