Health Commissioner Praises Community General and Van Duyn for Implementing Berger Commission Mandates

ALBANY, NY (Jan. 4, 2008) – Community General Hospital and Van Duyn Home and Hospital have reached an agreement to facilitate the closure of Community General Hospital's skilled nursing unit by Jan. 15. This is a significant step toward compliance with the mandates of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, otherwise known as the Berger Commission.

In keeping with the Berger Commission recommendations, Van Duyn and Community General's skilled nursing facility will be joined under a single unified planning board under the majority control of Community General Hospital. Van Duyn will maintain its county-owned status, while the planning board will oversee campus development for the two facilities. In accordance with the agreement, Van Duyn and Community General's skilled nursing will downsize their combined number of beds by approximately 75.

"Both Community General and Van Duyn Home are to be commended for responding in a constructive manner to the Berger Commission mandates," said state Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Today's agreement will further enhance and meet the long-term care needs of the community by building a stronger and more affordable health care system."

The Department approved the implementation of the closure plan for Community General's skilled nursing and will monitor the closure to ensure the health and safety of the facility's residents throughout the transition period. According to state law, residents must be given an official 30-day notice of the shutdown. Community General will close its skilled nursing unit on Jan. 15, 2008.

The Commission's recommendations became legal mandates on Jan. 1, 2007, with a timetable for implementation that will end on June 30, 2008.