Golden Hill officials dispute family council members’ contentions


Officials dispute contentions of understaffing

KINGSTON – Concerns by members of the Golden Hill nursing home family council that patient care at the Kingston facility is suffering as a result of staffing levels are simply not true, officials of its parent company VestraCare said Wednesday.
At a meeting Tuesday evening, council members maintained staffing was
down to one registered nurse for every 40 residents. That may be the case
overnight when residents are sleeping, but during the day, there is an
average of one RN to every 20 residents, said Jacqueline Sylvia, the chief
operating officer of Golden Hill’s parent company.
In fact, she said the 280-bed facility employs 358 staff members, greater than when Ulster County Government owned the nursing home.
“Above and beyond our nursing staff we have unit coordinators; we have unit assistants to help residents to go to activities,” Sylvia said.  “They help to take them to the hairdresser; so that’s additional ancillary staff that we have in the building .We have activities programs.  The building runs with a director of nursing, two assistant directors of nurses; we have two staff development nurses – all RNs; we have RN supervisors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Sylvia said staffing at Golden Hill is “typical, if not better” than the other nursing homes they own as well as those operated by other companies in the area.
Administration missed Tuesday night’s meeting because they had just received state permission to move residents to the other side of the building so that the $5 million renovation program could move forward.
Steven Rossi took over as administrator of Golden Hill in March when Sylvia was promoted to the parent company COO post.
Nary Michelin, the chief strategy officer for the company, is a former top regulator for the state Department of Health.
“We are putting such expertise and resources into this operation,” Michelin said.
“Overall, Golden Hill wants you to know we care,” said Director of Marketing Sylvia Murphy. “We respect anyone’s concerns and invite them to call our office so we can discuss them. Our residents’ care is our number one priority.”