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Kinney Nursing Home in Gouverneur closes

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GOUVERNEUR — Kinney Nursing Home officially closed its doors today.

The nursing home had 22 residents, all of whom have been placed. Some went home, spokeswoman Rebecca J. Faber said.

“The majority were placed within St. Lawrence or Jefferson counties,” she said in an email. “Some requested or their families requested placement out of state or out of the county. We will not provide further details because giving a further breakdown of the numbers, given the small number of residents needing placement could lead to a breach of the resident’s privacy.”

The nursing home followed up on each individual with family members and caregivers in their new placements, Ms. Faber said.

“We have had very positive feedback and everyone is doing well,” she said. “Families have told us they appreciate the caring and dedication of Renee Smith, the Kinney Nursing Home caseworker who assisted them to find new placements, and Kinney Nursing Home had a lot of help from area nursing homes, particularly United Helpers.”

Kinney Nursing Home had been connected with E.J. Noble Hospital, which ceased to exist New Year’s Day when it became Gouverneur Hospital. Gouverneur Hospital leased staff to the nursing home, which filed a closure plan with the state Department of Health.

Thirty-four Gouverneur Hospital employees are affected by the closure. They will receive base wages through June 28, Ms. Faber said.

“We have just begun to place some employees in open temporary and permanent positions and don’t yet know final numbers because of bumping rights,” she said.

There are no immediate plans for the nursing home building, Ms. Faber said.

“The priority has been to place the residents,” she said.

The closing of the nursing home was a heavy blow to the community, said the Rev. Robert F. LaVeck, president of the Greater Gouverneur Council of Churches and a member of a task force that tried to keep the facility open.

“The residents took it as if Gouverneur didn’t want them anymore,” he said.

The task force is not giving up on senior care for the community and it has heard there is interest in establishing an assisted living facility, the Rev. Mr. LaVeck said. “We’re focusing on getting something new going,” he said.

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