Ahead of a planned 2:30 p.m. demonstration today (Thursday) in front of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at 801 North James St., organizers are reminding those who plan to come out to support the activity should wear a mask, be peaceful and practice social distancing, according to online statements.
The facility — now subject to what representatives say is a routine a state health department investigation — has made recent news headlines, as a resident at the Rome facility, RaeJean Wallace posted a tearful video to Facebook describing her concerns about a lack of adequate medical care at the facility that has been compounded by coronavirus infections in the last few months.
This, an example of issues statewide currently being reviewed in hearings being conducted by state lawmakers in Albany.
Locally, social media posts on the facility’s Facebook page this week have included testimonials from residents who say they are happy with their experience at the 160-bed center. On the flipside of the coin, rumors began circulating Wednesday afternoon on social media that the facility was being investigated.
“The safety and wellbeing of nursing home residents is of paramount importance to the Department of Health.
The Department is conducting an investigation at The Grand Nursing Facility in Rome. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further,” said New York State Department of Health Public information Officer Jill Montag in a statement.
Montag further provided that any state resident who has a nursing home complaint should contact the state’s Centralized Complaint Intake directly at 1-888-201-4563, so appropriate action can be taken.
All complaints are kept confidential.
Bruce Gendron, vice president of The Grand Healthcare System also confirmed that the health department was investigating and added that the measure is routine.
Any time a complaint or situation reaches the state level, an investigation is launched, he said.
Nursing facilities are, “regularly surveyed by the Department of Health,” he said adding that there are probably thousands of allegations reported from across the state each year.
Gendron said typically grievances are first logged (as required by law) by facility staff and investigated in-house to see if a resolution or determination can be made.
“We look at whether this is an isolated issue or do we have a pattern,” he continued.
In house grievance investigations typically involve interviews with those involved and review of any data available, all while following state Department of Health guidelines.
“We are confident it will be unfounded,” Gendron said regarding Wallace’s allegations. “We don’t agree with the things (RaeJean Wallace) said in the video … (but) everyone is free to speak their mind. … We want to be transparent about everything. We try to work with everyone.”
Ruth Wallace, RaeJean Wallace’s daughter, urges community support to call attention to issues impacting those living at nursing facilities.
“...I truly believe there’s power in numbers,” Ruth Wallace noted in a message.