Rockland County Health Commissioner Richard Maloney was suspended with pay on Friday, July 5 pending an investigation and possible disciplinary charges. If he is found guilty, Maloney could be reprimanded or terminated.
The details of the charges remain vague, except for a statement from Deputy County Executive Terry Grosselfinger that they involve a “personnel matter” and that Maloney has generally denied the charges. In the interim, he has been replaced by deputy hospital commissioner and patient services administrator Donna Pauldine.
Maloney’s oversight extends partly to Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Facility, a long-term acute care facility which includes a psychiatric unit and skilled nursing care facility where some of Rockland’s most vulnerable citizens receive needed care. He has overseen the facility since 2007, before which he had served as lobbyist with Nursing Facilities of New York and as a patient services administrator with the Hospitals Department.
Operational reviews have found that Summit Park had not been adequately modernized, proper medical standards and practices had not been followed and records had not been converted to a digital system and were still recorded by hand in what County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef called “sloppy administration.” In addition, 80 percent of the registered and licensed practical nurses at the hospital and 50 percent at the nursing home were found to be relief workers, a situation which could pose risks to patients who require constant care.
Within the past few years, Summit Park has run a significant deficit, accruing a $7.75 million deficit in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, the county has loaned the facility $32 million-about one third of its total debt-to keep the facility afloat, but Summit Park was unable to pay back any of the funds. Due to Summit Park’s untenable financial situation, the County is putting together a local development corporation to arrange for the partial or full sale of the nursing home.