New Castle News

January 21, 2013

Area nursing homes claim clean bill of health

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Constant state and federal government attention appears to have resulted in a commitment to perfection by local nursing homes.

A survey by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, released last week on line and analyzed by investigative news source propublica.org, indicates local long-term nursing facilities are meeting expectations. The posted survey covers 2009 through 2012.

Results include:

•Avalon Nursing Center, 3410 West Pittsburg Road, 83 beds, initially cited for nine deficiencies over the years of the survey.

Administrator John Hughes said deficiencies were minor. “The biggest complaint involved (state inspectors) finding a used breathing apparatus in a utility room designated for soiled supplies and equipment.”

Hughes credits his staff for the success of the facility, which is now in compliance with requirements and at 99 percent capacity.

“With low employee turnover, we can better keep up with regulations,” he noted.

•Golden Hill Nursing Home, 520 Friendship St., 240 beds, cited for 10 deficiencies over the years of the survey, none serious.

Attempts to reach a representative were unsuccessful. However, a Pennsylvania Department of Health website indicates a timetable for correcting identified problems is in place.

•Haven Convalescent Home, 725 Paul St., 91 beds, cited for eight deficiencies over the years of the survey, none serious. According to the website, all identified deficiencies have been corrected in compliance with regulations.

“Inspectors come in every three to four years to look at everything, and more often if there is a complaint,” said Jackie Slade, director of nursing. “You get used to people constantly looking over your shoulder.”

•Jameson Care Center, 3349 Wilmington Road, 78 beds, cited for 15 deficiencies over the years of the survey, none serious.

Administrator Ken Garver said he has come to see the department of health as a partner.

“They revisited last week, reviewed our plan of corrections and everything is fine,” he said. “We all want the same thing — good quality of care for the residents.”

•Jameson Hospital Transitional Care Unit, 1211 Wilmington Ave., 20 beds, notified that 11 deficiencies were identified over the years covered by the survey, none serious. All have been corrected, according to administrator Kate Mazzei.

“We’re a good unit,” Mazzei said. The hospital-based skilled nursing facility is almost always full with patients who stay one to three weeks. “The goal is to build them up to go home or to another facility.”

•Mary Evens Extended Care Center, 724 Pershing St., Ellwood City, 25 beds, 14 deficiencies cited in the survey years, none serious. Hospital administrator Joann Smith noted the health care industry is highly regulated. Any deficiency noted by inspectors has been corrected, she said.

•Overlook Health and Rehabilitation Center, 520 New Castle St., New Wilmington, 115 beds, cited for 15 deficiencies in the survey period, none serious. A department of health website indicated all identified deficiencies have been corrected. Attempts to reach a representative were unsuccessful.

•Shenango Presbyterian SeniorCare, 238 S. Market St., New Wilmington, 25 beds, cited for five deficiencies in the survey years. None serious and all have been corrected.

“The year before last we had one deficiency — a night light was burned out in one of the bathrooms,” Caroline DeAugustine, executive director, said. “It took a minute to replace the bulb, but then there was paperwork and documentation.”

Shenango SeniorCare includes a 25-bed nursing home, inspected by the department of health, a personal care unit, inspected by the department of public welfare and an independent living component, inspected by the insurance industry.

•Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center, 715 Harbor St., 62 beds, with 18 deficiencies identified over the years covered in the survey, none serious. All are being or have been corrected. Attempts to reach a representative were unsuccessful.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)