Archive for the ‘Ulster County Seniors’ Category

Senior Care Executive Summary

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Seal

Jack Hayes Ulster County Legislator District 8
24 Tinkers Lane
Gardiner, NY 12525
845 255 5152

Executive Summary  Ulster County Skilled Care Nursing

Ulster County Skilled Care Nursing Facility at Kingston NY has been the object of several legislative reviews regarding operations and physical condition of the building. The operations budget continues to rise and exceed funding mechanisms thus requiring additional county funding. The physical condition of the building is reported to be in need of substantial repair, renovation ($40-80 million) and/or replacement. The Ulster County Legislature is tasked with deciding whether to continue to operate this facility and conduct the repairs/replacement or sell the License and discontinue Skilled Care Nursing as a County service.
An alternative to the above two options could be to create a Private/Public Partnership where-in the County could provide land, tax incentives and the Skilled Care Nursing License to a Private entity that would build and operate a new facility in Ulster County.
Additionally the Public portion of this partnership would enlist the cooperation and collaboration of all governmental stakeholder; Federal, State and County. Lack of open and honest cooperation and communication regarding senior health care initiatives has plagued progress in this area.
A Public/Private Partnership should go beyond the replacement of a single physical property and current service. A Strategic Master Plan for Senior Health Services should be created for the Mid Hudson Region. Ulster County should embark on a path of innovative economic development to meet the needs of its aging population. Federal and New York State agencies tasked with the care of our senior population have the opportunity to develop not only plans but physical designs to address; keeping seniors in their homes, senior housing, assisted living and skilled care nursing facilities. Ulster County is in a unique position to exploit a challenge and transform it into a solution that will provide needed services and needed job opportunities.
Ulster County (and other Counties in the Mid-Hudson Region) could initiate Senior Centers of Excellence where-in campuses of senior housing, assisted housing and skilled care nursing facilities are co-located creating symbiotic communities and economically profitable development and operation opportunities for business investment. These Senior Centers of Excellence could be located in areas suffering from economic distress and act as incubators to related service industries.
State University of New York campuses and local Board of Cooperative Services could facilitate curriculum to all areas of elder care ranging from custodial services to executive level management positions. Certificate and degree programs could assure a qualified and professional staffing requirement that would eliminate a weakness in the health care industry. The Power of SUNY Strategic Plan pipeline should be fully implemented to address Senior Care, a guaranteed growth sector.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council should be utilized to apply for funding to develop a prototype Senior Center of Excellence in Ulster County. Enhanced incentives to this project should be made available by federal and state agencies in that it is a project that will create quality job opportunities, elder care and be a model for the nation.

Categories: Ulster County Seniors

Elder Care Regional Economic Development

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Seal

Jack Hayes Ulster County Legislator District 8
24 Tinkers Lane
Gardiner, NY 12525
845 255 5152

President Dennis Murray
Co-Chair Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council
Marist College
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
September 26, 2011

Dear President Murray
I attended the meeting of the Mid Hudson Regional Economic Development Council at SUNY Ulster on September 18, 2011 and would like to offer the following thoughts on the development of your Five Year Plan. During my tenure as Ulster County Legislator I have had great concern regarding the care of our aging population. I have outlined my thoughts and possible solutions for Ulster County in the attached executive summary. Elder Care is truly a regional if not national concern and I think it would be an excellent element of a proposal applying for enhanced funding opportunities as  described in the above meeting. The proposal could include (but not be limited to) the following subjects;
Create a strategic Elder Care master plan.
Form a public /private partnership for facilitating Elder Care services
Design and build an Elder Care Center of Excellence prototype campus
Develop career specific curriculum through SUNY offering degrees and certificates
Develop industry standards and a code of ethics for Elder Care providers
Initiate tax reform for caregivers and elders who create Aging in Place lifestyles
I am not a subject matter expert in Elder Care but the Ulster County Aging Council is fortunate to have one in the person of Sue Hoger. I am sure we have many talented people in this field throughout the Mid-Hudson area that would be eager to become involved in such an endeavor. I would appreciate any consideration you may give this suggestion.
Jack Hayes
Cc:  Bonacic,

Elder Care

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Seal

Elder Care in Ulster County    August 25, 2011

Some members of the Ulster County Legislature are drafting a resolution to require the County to continue to operate a skilled care nursing facility, despite the fact that County Executive Mike Hein has predicted a $25 million dollar budget deficit for 2012. The Executive has also questioned the reliability of New York State funding for the facility. The federal government is running a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit and New York State has a $9 billion dollar deficit. We are in an Economic Emergency and my colleagues are proposing $100 million dollar expenditures. Ulster County does not have a good record of managing such projects (Ulster County Jail cost overruns).
I am resolved to keep the 280 bed Skilled Care Nursing License in Ulster County. That said I believe a Public/Private Partnership of “Elder Care” service would be the best approach to maintain quality care and tax relief to the citizens of Ulster County. I prefer to identify our medical needs as “Elder Care” as opposed to the name of one facility. There are tens of thousands residents of our county reaching the elder years. We need a comprehensive strategic master plan to address the needs of this population group. We have the opportunity to create an Elder Care Campus Model in our region that will answer the needs of our seniors as well as create economic growth. The senior housing and adjacent medical facility at the Ellenville Hospital are an example of “Campus Design”. The addition of a skilled care nursing facility at that location would complete a holistic and symbiotic treatment center for elders. That model could be duplicated throughout the region and would facilitated keeping seniors in their own homes longer. Independent senior living and assisted living is much less expensive than skilled care institutions.
Raising County Taxes 30% to build one facility will negatively affect thousands of seniors and other residents who are barely able to afford current costs of living in our county. We can and will maintain high caliber health care for our Elders and we will do it in a cost effective, pragmatic manner. We can change a challenge to an opportunity by partnering with Adult Housing Professionals and recognized Elder Care Providers. The needs of our aging populations are too personal to be relegated to election cycle antics. Our seniors deserve to maintain their dignity and are due our respect. Proper planning not politics is the solution to our Elder Care needs. It’s time for all parties to work toward that end.

Legislator Jack Hayes, District 8

Chairman  Law Enforcement & Public Safety  Committee

P.O. Box 1800
Kingston, NY  12402
Telephone:  845 340-3900
FAX:  845 340-3651

Golden Hill Observations

March 19, 2011 2 comments

Golden Hill Health Care Center
Dear Colleagues,
The New York State presentation to the Ulster County Legislature on Friday March 11, 2011 regarding Nursing Homes was enlightening. A few of the more significant policy trends that I think I heard Mr. Kissinger relay to the audience are;
Private Nursing homes receive more funding than County Nursing Homes
Private Nursing Homes are allowed to pick healthier residents than County Homes. This practice is called “Cherry Picking”. The New York State Government has not been able to change this. Does this mean that the Private Nursing Home Industry has lobbying influence that stifles our government from writing legislation that would correct this inequity? I think it does.
There will be a “Change” in funding levels from New York State to Counties this spring and it won’t be an increase. OK, if we stay at the same level of funding for nursing homes, it will not be a change. If the change is not going to be an “Increase”, it would appear that Mr. Kissinger has told us that we can expect a decrease in funding this spring from New York State to Counties for Nursing Home Funding.
New York State wants more assisted living beds and less Nursing Home beds.
New York State is not going to take a Leadership Role in assisting Counties in making plans for Elder Care/Nursing Home Care, even as numerous Counties are trying to make decisions of what type of service to offer Elders in our communities. Even when New York State and the Federal Government continue to be the main funding sources and the initiators of policy, they are willing to let local Legislatures try to solve these challenges without assistance. Editorial note: What happened to Strategic Planning? Regionalization? Efficiencies of scale? Nope! You’re on your own! Good Luck! ??????
I think Mr. Kissinger informed Ulster County in the gentlest manner that continuation in the Nursing Homes business would be extremely difficult at best, and untenable in normal circumstances. New York State discriminates in favor of Private Nursing Home Operators and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
As the Ulster County Legislature continues to deliberate the future of providing service to the elderly of this county I think it should take this challenge and transform it to a opportunity. The legislature must resist a rush to judgment regardless of pressure from the media, executive branch or numerous vocal stakeholders. There are models of Elder Care in the United States and elsewhere that need to be examined to determine an appropriate and progressive path to comprehensive dignified service to our Senior population.
Very close to home there is a model emerging that shows an impressive response to the needs our Seniors. The Ellenville Hospital on Route 209 has transformed a failing mediocre hospital into a pristine, state of the art Emergency Care/ General Medical and Rehab Facility. Just steps from the front door of the Hospital you have the Ellenville Senior Living Center. The brand new senior living center provides clean, energy efficient, and secure housing. The residents of this housing complex also provide a consistent patient flow to the Ellenville Hospital just by virtue of their regular medical service needs. The Seniors receive competent convenient medical attention and the hospital has a continuous clientele (coupled with the needs of the community beyond the Senior Complex the hospital is financially whole). If one was to add a Nursing Home facility to the existing medical-housing campus, the combination of needs and services would be very symbiotic. The seniors at the housing complex are continuously looking for “Jobs” and would be an excellent source of volunteer assistance for a Nursing Home facility. A “Combination Care Campus” (as seen in the Ellenville Hospital Campus) would appear to be an ideal model to emulate and recreate in areas of need throughout the county. A single license holder could create satellite Care Campuses filling housing and medical care needs in an efficient and profitable manner. I believe we should reissue our Request for Proposal to solicit interest in this type of model of care which may very well incorporate a partnership approach to development.
If anyone is interested in touring the Ellenville Hospital and adjacent senior housing complex I would be happy to facilitate an appointment. I believe it is important to see what CAN be accomplished if we think just slightly out of the box. I worked for a former Marine who used to say “Lead or get the Hell out of the Way”. I think we can and we should lead and create a superior place in life for the people who have given so much to us. Let’s restore dignity to our elderly and ease the fears of growing old. Let’s do it right this time.

Jack Hayes


January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

meals on wheels volunteer (from Wyoming Press)

Ulster County Legislative Programs Committee will be reviewing the Meals on Wheels program this winter. Legislator Cathy Terrizzi will Chair the review subcommittee.

Categories: Ulster County Seniors


June 25, 2010 Leave a comment


With the increasing importance of caring for our war veterans and the unfinished business of meeting the needs of our aging veterans we clearly have our work cut out for us. We have to support those re-adjustment and counseling services that are effectively helping our service men and women to heal from the trauma and displacement they have incurred in our name. And we have to remember our commitment to those aging veterans who’s sacrife is not forgotten.

We will endeavor to compile a list of the people helping effectively our veterans in Ulster County.