Buffalo nursing home's owners have record of problems

New York City ownership group cited & fined
Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 01, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Officials at the Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing are downplaying the sprinkler system that broke Friday morning, causing water to gush from the building’s windows.

“Nobody was evacuated,” said nursing director Heidi Smith. “They were moved from patient care areas to different areas. So it’s business as usual.”

But public records show business is not always great at nursing homes controlled by Buffalo Center’s owners.

The federal government rates the Delaware Avenue nursing home two out of five stars, or “below average.”

It’s owned by Centers Health Care, located in Bronx, N.Y., and its top officials are chief executive Kenny Rozenberg and chief operating officer Amir Abramchik, according to its website.

A company spokesman said the men could not comment on their record Friday afternoon because “they have already left due to their religious beliefs.”

Centers owns 57 nursing homes in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, and this isn’t the first mishap the group has had in Buffalo.

In March 2017, a patient at the Waterfront Center nursing home on Seventh Street -- also owned by Centers -- was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an elderly patient. The man, who lived at the nursing home, had previously been convicted of molesting two women and was a registered sex offender.

Six months later, the owners renamed Waterfront Center to Ellicott Center.

Records filed with the State Health Department show the owners in 2016 submitted a plan at the Buffalo Center for $1.8 Million in cosmetic renovations.

But health inspectors still fined the owners $4,000 the next year for having “smoke barriers” and “hazardous areas” in the nursing home.

Erie County officials said the owners also failed to submit a 2018 compliance report for Ruthie’s Law, which requires nursing home management to report “the number of reportable events which have occurred.”

The law was enacted in 2017 in honor of Ruth Murray, an 82-year-old mother who died at a Buffalo nursing home after she was beaten by another patient.

Click here to access New York State's nursing home ranking website and click here to access the federal government's nursing home ranking website.