Statement by State Health Commissioner Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D.Concerning Westfall Healthcare Center
Albany, April 12 -- State Health Commissioner Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., has made the following statement concerning Westfall Healthcare Center, located in the Town of Brighton, Monroe County:
"The State Health Department has played a pivotal role in improving the quality of care and quality of life at Westfall Healthcare Center. The proof of this improvement is our latest inspection, which shows that Westfall is in full compliance with federal and state regulations for patient care. This means residents are receiving appropriate care in a safe and secure environment.
"This was not always the case. As soon as the State Health Department detected serious operational deficiencies in October 1995, we mounted an aggressive inspection and oversight plan to make sure that Westfall's problems were corrected. At our insistence, Westfall hired a consultant with expertise in nursing home operations. We took the extraordinary step of having state monitors in the Center daily or on different shifts through most of the winter. Even now, with the Center having obtained a clean bill of health, we are maintaining our presence in the Center through unannounced inspections at least once a week. This level of oversight will continue until ownership is transferred and we deem that the operational environment is stable.
"We supported the University of Rochester's application to create a not-for-profit corporation, The Meadows at Westfall Inc., to take over ownership of Westfall Healthcare Center. That application has been approved by the New York State Public Health Council. We believe a change in ownership will complete the cycle we began to bring about a consistently higher level of care and a better quality of life for Westfall residents.
"Patient care is my paramount concern as Health Commissioner. My staff has spent many hours talking with patients and their families about the conditions at Westfall, and ensuring that their concerns were promptly and respectfully addressed. We will continue this positive relationship with the residents of the Center."
4/12/96-46 OPAContact: Claudia Hutton, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health Posted 5/13/96