One nursing home’s loss is another hospital’s gain.
Councilman Michael Nelson (D–Sheepshead Bay) revoked $1.1 million from a Manhattan Beach retirement home after watching it stagnate for four years, and reallocated it, plus additional funds, for a total of $1,816,000 to Sandy-wrecked Coney Island Hospital, so that it can purchase heavy-duty medical equipment and make other improvements.
“They were supposed to fix up 16 rooms with beds and kitchenettes, so that families can stay with their loved ones during their last days,” said Nelson. “But, I had to pull the money, and I gave it to Coney.”
The councilman in 2009 had given that money to Manhattan Beach’s Menorah Home and Hospital, a nursing home located on Oriental Boulevard near Kingsborough Community College. The facility was supposed to outfit several rooms for the families of dying patients. This would allow the patients to spend their last days in the company of loved ones.
After four years, however, the nursing home had failed to put that money towards its intended purpose, a disappointment the councilman attributed to mismanagement. He called the decision to revoke that funding difficult, especially considering he allocated the money in the wake of his wife’s tragic death in 2008.
“It was really meaningful for me, and that’s the frustrating part of it,” said Nelson. “I allocated the money, but I can only wait so long.”
The councilman is confident that Coney Island Hospital will put the money toward things that will benefit its more than 300,000 yearly outpatients.
“Hopefully they’ll be getting that heavy equipment in the fall,” Nelson said. “People are going to die if they don’t have the proper equipment.”
The councilman earmarked $500,000 to keep the hospital’s all-important nucleus, its Data Center, safe from future flood damage. It will be relocated to a higher floor, where it should be remain nice and dry, along with all the medical files it contains.
Another $586,000 has been set aside for improvements to the facility’s main building. Finally, a whopping $730,000 will be put towards the aforementioned equipment, including a thoracic laser, which is capable of making surgical incisions with minimum blood loss and trauma.
The councilman concedes that once the hospital receives the money in October, it will be out his hands how it’s handled.
“In the end, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn