Name change aims to make nursing home more ‘marketable'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:18

    GOSHEN-What's in a name? Improved marketability for Orange County's nursing home, say members of the county legislature's Human Services Committee. County Executive Edward Diana agrees. He told the legislature at last week's meeting that the facility needs to generate more admissions and cash, and that a name change is the first step toward that goal. The name would change from the Orange County Residential Health Care Facility to Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. But some legislators said they were concerned that a name change is a first step toward selling the facility. Diana, in a rare address to a regular session of the legislature, flatly denied any interest in selling the nursing home. The name change is solely to improve its image in an increasingly competitive environment, he said. Diana acknowledged that he had considered selling the infirmary several years ago. But, he said, "I listened to the voices of the 21 people in this room and reconsidered. There is now no plan to sell the facility, and anyone who says so is doing this county a disservice." However, Diana told the Legislators, the facility is awash with red ink, and something must be done to increase the number of residents. The nursing home business has become far more competitive than it was a few years ago when the facility was near capacity, he said. A marketing consultant suggested the change. Another suggestion was to send information with Meals on Wheels volunteers, to reach the population most likely to be interested, he said. But, he said, this bit or marketing would be more effective if the nursing home had a different name. Diana asserted that the Orange County facility is the largest and best in the county, with a capacity as large as the next three nursing homes put together. "We are trying to save the facility, not give it away or sell it," said Roxanne Donnery of Highland Falls. Spencer McLaughlin of Monroe questioned dropping "Orange County "from the name. "I understand residential, nursing care and rehabilitation, that's fine, that represents what our new facility is," he said. "But what is it about Orange County that makes it unmarketable?" Legislator Ben Winstanley of Greenwood Lake offered a compromise. "I don't see anything offensive about saying the Orange County Valley View Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation," he said. Following more than half an hour of debate, the legislature voted to rename the Orange County Infirmary the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. Opposing the change were Leigh Benton of Newburgh, McLaughlin, Thomas Pahucki of New Hampton and Winstanley.