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2017-11-08 / Front Page

Opening Draws Near for Delhi Rehab & Nursing Facility

By Lillian Browne


Delhi Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility Administrator Kurt Apthorpe, left, talks about the timeline for opening with Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci, center, and former Congressman Chris Gibson. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Delhi Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility Administrator Kurt Apthorpe, left, talks about the timeline for opening with Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci, center, and former Congressman Chris Gibson. Lillian Browne/The Reporter DELHI - The finishing touches are being placed on the Delhi Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility to ready it for opening in the coming weeks. The facility, which will house 176 residents when fully operational, was slated to open this fall, but it is likely that the facility will open in December, according to facility Administrator Kurt Apthorpe.

People got a sneak preview of the facility on Friday, Nov. 3, when the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce held its first Friday eat & meet networking event, featuring guest speaker former Congressman Chris Gibson, in the Gibson Auditorium.

The facility is working closely with the Department of Health (DOH), Apthorpe said, to have everything in place so residents can be admitted the day following DOH approval.

Rather than have a ribbon cutting grand opening event, Apthorpe said, the facility will host a series of open houses before residents are admitted. That way, visitors will be able to view each of the rooms without restriction.

The new and improved facility, under new ownership and operation, bears no resemblance to the former facility. The entire facility has been upgraded, rehabilitated and expanded.

The facility is outfitted with new heating, ventilation and lighting systems. Residents’ rooms have individually-controlled heating and cooling systems, and most of the rooms are private, though there are a couple of semi-private rooms, Apthorpe said. Every bed has a window, Apthorpe said, acknowledging the importance of a connection to nature.

The new construction is comprised of four units, two on the first floor and two on the second floor. There is a dining unit and serving kitchen which enables staff to serve hot meals directly to residents.

There is a unique naming system for each of the facility’s wings. Each is named after a tree - aspen, birch, chestnut, dogwood, elm and fir, inspired by the surrounding landscape and the earthy tones of the building.

Each room is also outfitted with a flat-screen television and telephone access, new furniture and an open floor plan with a visiting area. The facility is green-thinking and will use a paperless medical record system. It is outfitted with a call bell and video monitoring camera system to help staff provide the best service possible, to residents.

Apthorpe looks forward to working with various community groups, such as youth groups, scouts, and others to come into the facility for residential interaction.

There is an auditorium, named after and dedicated to former Congressman Chris Gibson, who was instrumental in facilitating the opening of the new building, which will be used as a community space.

It will likely be a year before the facility is fully operational, Apthorpe said, but once that happens, it will be staffed with nearly 200 employees.

Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci said the prospect of an additional 200 jobs at the Delhi facility will benefit all of Delaware County while providing a critical service for the county’s aging population. The facility will make it possible for residents to remain in the area while receiving the care they require. “They won’t have to leave the network they’ve had throughout their lifetime,” Pucci said of the county’s elderly population.

In the same way that the elderly will be able to remain in the area, so will those requiring short-term rehabilitation care.

There is an acute shortage of trained health services workers in the area, Pucci said, and the facility has been connected to training programs such as those at SUNY Delhi and the BOCES programs, to create and expand a viable workforce. “The facility will not be cannibalizing local hospitals and health care centers for staff and will instead be able to build the number of employees working in the county,” Pucci said.

The public is invited to attend the first open house which will be held on Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information about the facility visit delhirehab.com.

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