Downstate healthcare company to take over Emerald South

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A downstate healthcare company is taking the reigns at two Buffalo nursing homes. 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed on Sunday that the New York State Health Department appointed receivership of Emerald South and Emerald North nursing homes to Grand Healthcare System, which runs nursing homes statewide.

“We will gather as much data as possible, as much good information as possible, plug all the holes, and right the ship,” said Jay Lawrence, a director at Grand Healthcare System. 

Poloncarz called for this action to be taken in August. 

“There are good employees at Emerald South, I want people to understand that. There are good employees who unfortunately are working in an unsafe work environment where there are not enough employees to do the job that is necessary,” said Poloncarz.

Two residents at Emerald South have died from unnatural causes in the past two years. 

In August 2016, a woman, Ruth Murray, was beaten to death by another resident.

In June 2018, a man, William Strasner, fell to his death climbing out a third-floor window. 

Jay Lawrence told us, The Grand Healthcare System has an excellent track record turning nursing facilities around, and they are going to earn the trust of their residents and their families.

“We want to work with all the tools in our toolbox, if you will, to make sure that together we are not going to let what has happened in the past happen again,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence says Grand’s initial assessment of the two facilities will likely take weeks, if not, months to complete, and they are authorized to use whatever tools are necessary to get things right.

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