(Hauppauge, New York-July 31, 2012) Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Dr. William Spencer, Chairman of the Legislature’s Health Committee today announced an agreement to sell the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, which will reduce Suffolk County’s deficit by more than $30 million for 2013. They were joined for the announcement by Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley and Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services.
Under the terms of the agreement, the purchasers, Sam and Israel Sherman have agreed to the County’s request that every patient remain at the facility and all staff will be offered positions to ensure continuity of care. The Shermans have offered Suffolk County $23 million for the facility which has been losing approximately $10 million per year.
“This agreement protects every single patient and protects the interests of Suffolk County taxpayers,” County Executive Bellone said. “I have visited the Foley Nursing Facility and I have the greatest respect for the care that takes place there, which is why I am happy that the Shermans have agreed to offer positions to all the dedicated staff members who work there. My number one priority is protecting the patients and ensuring they continue to receive quality care.”
“The fact that we can protect the patients, protect the staff and close the deficit makes this deal a home run for Suffolk County,” Dr. Spencer, the only medical doctor in the Suffolk County Legislature, said. “There is great work being done at Foley and with this agreement that work will continue."
“After exploring all the options, this is the best course for Suffolk County taxpayers and residents of the Foley Facility,” Deputy Presiding Officer Horsley said.
This sale comes after months of exploring alternative options including a Legislative RFP for a Public-Private Partnership, Executive RFP for Sale, discussions with North Shore LIJ and Stony Brook University Medical Center and most recently, discussion with the non-profit group Easter Seals.
While this agreement will protect all current patients at the Foley Facility, Dr. Spencer also announced that he will work to create a Patient Protection and Placement Office within the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to continue the facility’s mission to serve those in need. This office would provide caseworkers to Suffolk County residents most in need to ensure that they have full access to the laws which are meant to protect patients and ensure local placement.
“There are laws to protect patients, unfortunately, those who need those protections the most are often the least aware of their rights,” Dr. Spencer said. “The Patient Protection and Placement Office will carry out John J. Foley’s mission of protecting our most vulnerable residents.”
The Shermans own 13 nursing homes in New York State, including SunHarbor Manor in Roslyn, their only other facility on Long Island. All of their facilities are operated under labor contracts with SEIU1199 or UFCW. Suffolk County will work with the Shermans to organize tours of SunHarbor for patients, family and staff of the Foley Facility in the coming weeks. Additionally, the Shermans have agreed to establish two $5,000 annual scholarships for Suffolk County Community College students interested in pursuing a career in nursing.