Press-Republican

Friday

July 26, 2013

Meadowbrook project offers region more beds, jobs

PLATTSBURGH — A planned expansion at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh will provide new nursing-home beds in a state-of-the-art “neighborhood” design.

And dozens of new jobs will be created.

Meadowbrook recently submitted a Certificate of Need application to the New York State Department of Health for approval to add 80 additional beds to its facility at 154 Prospect Ave.

“We’re pleased to have an opportunity to bring new beds into the community,” said Meadowbrook Administrator Paul Richards. “These beds are desperately needed.”

‘NEIGHBORHOOD’ DESIGN

The expansion will feature an attached two-story building at the rear of the current facility.

Each floor will hold 40 beds, broken into sections of 20 beds that comprise a new concept in nursing-home design by grouping residents into “neighborhoods” with private rooms connected to public gathering areas.

“It’s a layout that will afford residents more individual privacy and living space than the traditional design,” Richards said.

“The old nursing-home model (with double corridors connected by a nursing station) is broken. Today’s people need more common space, a more home-like atmosphere, more square footage.”

The concept also promotes improved interaction between residents and staff, he added.

PREVIOUS PLAN CANCELED

The expansion replaces another proposal Meadowbrook developed several years ago, when officials planned to construct a massive 210-bed facility adjacent to Pine Harbour Assisted Living Facility on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

That project had been approved by the State Department of Health, but financial issues have stalled construction since design plans were first announced.

“The world has changed as we know it,” Richards said.

Adjustments in Medicaid reimbursements and other changes in health care have played a major role in reducing the feasibility for construction of the 210-bed facility, which was slated to be named the James Mann Health Center in memory of a surgeon who treated injured sailors on Crab Island during the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh.

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