Concerned Citizens are diverse group committed to nursing home

Posted 22 October 2013 at 12:00 am


Congressional representatives in Washington DC could learn a lesson from the politically cooperative efforts of the Concerned Citizens group in Orleans County.

We are extremely politically diverse with members who are Conservatives, Tea Party Patriots, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. There may be other political affiliations present that I am not aware of because we do not spend time discussing politics.

Some of our group currently has family members or friends at The Villages of Orleans. It is amazing to me that some have had family members that have passed but feel so strongly about the care their loved one received, compared to private facilities, that they are still working for the cause. Others are there because they know that Orleans County citizens have a caring heart and they want to keep it that way.

This non-political group is putting efforts into keeping the County Nursing Home public. It is premature to sell it without investigating how to make it a financially viable facility. We are not saying that the current legislators may not have tried to do this but all stones have not yet been turned over.

Have the billing practices of The Villages received every last dime of Federal, State and private pay money due to it? We have reason to believe it has not, considering how Genesee County has recovered $500,000 in just six weeks by re-submitting claims to Medicaid and Medicare.

Has anyone contacted the other county operated nursing homes to form a co-op to increase our buying power and get lower prices? Are we taking advantage of New York State’s collective buying power, as do our local school districts? I do not know the answer to these two questions but would like an opportunity to find out. These are just a few possibilities.

Let us not wake up one day and find out that we made a mistake. We need legislators with the ability to think outside the box and problem solve for the benefit of our citizens.

I strongly urge the voters to consider that there are two sides to every issue. We are putting in long hours and working hard in the hopes we keep the nursing home for future generations. There is no personal gain for any of our members except to have The Villages as an insurance policy that no one wants to use but it is sure great to have it there if needed.

We have little money, raising it through activities like spaghetti suppers. Our essential information is printed on plain white paper that everyone needs to read before voting. This election really affects your future.

Please consider both sides carefully rather than just voting a party line.

Linda Rak

(Rak is a candidate for County Legislature. She is endorsed by the Conservative Party and is running under the independent “Save Our Nursing Home” line.)