By Rockland County Executive Ed Day
By now, most of you know the transaction to sell Summit Park Hospital & Nursing Care Center in Pomona was scrapped by the prospective buyer, Sympaticare, LLC.
The company chose to walk away after publicly stating that it fully intended to continue providing quality health care services to our community. By pulling out of the deal in the eleventh hour, Sympaticare confirmed that it failed the LDC, Summit Park patients, residents, medical staff and the people of Rockland County.
As a result, we are moving to our contingency plan – a plan we had hoped not to use. Regrettably, people will suffer.
With the hospital and nursing home set to close by the end of the year, many local families will be impacted. Our dedicated and selfless health care workers will also suffer, many of whom were offered positions by the now former purchaser.
I have met on several occasions with our hospital and nursing home employees at the facility. They know that we have arrived at this juncture through no fault of their own. These are decent, hardworking, loyal professionals who have soldiered on in a facility that was neglected for too many years by the previous administration.
Today, we are taking action to provide the best outcome for the taxpayers of Rockland County. We are providing to clarity to a workforce – and, a community – that has been left wondering what’s next for months.
In the days ahead, we will work with the state Department of Health on a plan for transferring the patients served by the hospital and nursing home to private facilities by December 31st. As for the employees, our Personnel Department will assist with resumé building and interviewing techniques.
We had hoped Sympaticare would play a role in stabilizing the financial future of Rockland County by acquiring Summit Park and investing millions of dollars to upgrade its services, provide care and keep jobs here.
But, things did not work out the way we had hoped.
Please know that the actions we are taking today will help turn this county around.
Over the coming days, we have difficult decisions to make and we will communicate those decisions after we have a chance to consult with our attorneys, the LDC and the Legislature.
As we pursue an orderly closure of the facility, I hope there is a re-focus on the people of this county by members of the Legislative Leadership, several of whom I believe are complicit in the erosion of the sale.
I was brought here to this Office to change our downward trajectory. We have made great strides in doing so. Neither today’s actions by the buyer, nor any other obstacle, real or perceived, will deter me from that covenant.