EXCLUSIVE: Garnet Health's SNU Struggling To Find New Homes For Its Residents
HARRIS - Garnet Health's Skilled Nursing Unit, which announced last month that it is closing at the end of September, has told families of residents on Friday that it is struggling to find new homes for its residents.
A letter dated today from Donna Mullins, the Acting Skilled Nursing Unit Administrator, to "SNU Friends and Family Members," said:
"We understand that everyone has a first preference; however, the recent NYS (New York State) healthcare worker vaccination mandate has compounded some of the existing staff concerns in healthcare facilities across the State, and many facilities are pausing new admissions at this time. Consequently, we are asking you to choose additional facilities in areas outside Sullivan County."
Mullins added: "Understand in the future if beds do become available in Sullivan County you could request a transfer at that time."
A source who works in healthcare tonight told The SullivanTimes that both the Roscoe Rehab & Nursing is not taking in new residents. The Care Center at Sunset Lake, now being managed by Infinite Care as of this week, is also facing severe staffing shortages and it's unclear at press time if and when that will be resolved.
Last month, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo put into place a mandate for healthcare workers in the state to be vaccinated by September 27. It was a mandate supported by new Governor Kathy Hochul.
But this week, a federal judge temporarily blocked that mandate, which meant that administrators and owners who previously had leverage to make vaccinations a condition of employment, no longer had that power.
Hochul said this week she will keep on fighting to get the mandate back in place, through an appeal of the lawsuit. She also announced that the state will provide resources to any facility that might lose employees if and when the mandate is restored.