Charlesgate Nursing Center caregivers urge state to intervene to prevent facility closure
“Our residents deserve stability and dignity, and leaving them without clear answers about their future is the opposite of that.”
Caregivers at Charlesgate Nursing Center in Providence who are members of SEIU 1199NE held a press conference on Thursday to call on the state to intervene to find new owners, thus preventing the nursing home from closing this summer. Owners made the announcement on Friday, April 28, 2023. To date, management has not provided clear information about the fate of the facility, the transition plan for residents, or when the closure would occur.
“We have gotten no clear answers from management regarding our future as workers or what will happen to our residents,” said Carolyn Clark, Certified Nursing Assistant from Charlesgate. “Scattering our residents throughout the state not only uproots them from their home, but could disrupt their care and cause undue stress to a population of people that already have very little control of their circumstances. Our residents deserve stability and dignity, and leaving them without clear answers about their future is the opposite of that.”
For over five decades, Charlesgate Nursing Center has served residents who are some of Providence’s most vulnerable populations through its nursing home care, low income housing units and healthcare services. It primarily cares for those who are predominantly covered by Medicaid as well as homeless and severely ill individuals suffering from HIV, hepatitis and other complex medical conditions. With Rhode Island´s homelessness having increased by 50% from 2020 to 2022, Charlesgate has served as an invaluable part of the social safety net for residents when no other nursing home or shelter would accept them.
But in recent years, Charlesgate has experienced instability in ownership turnover, preferential use of costly agency staff, and repeated clinical violations and fees with one 2022 penalty amounting to over $77,000 for 12 total care deficiencies. Charlesgate Nursing Center frontline staff, who are predominantly immigrant women of color, have been fighting for safe staffing, fair wages and better benefits for years, and were able to secure a contract back in 2020, winning ground-breaking staffing language as well as significant wage and benefit increases.
“I have been here for 29 years and I was planning to retire in two to three years,” said MaryAnn Dardeh, CNA and Med Tech. “Now I have to start from scratch. What’s more, after all these years we are leaving with no severance pay which is a slap to the face. It is scary and hurtful to serve a company for so many years to leave empty handed with no advance notice. We are calling on the state to step in and put us into receivership so that we don´t lose our jobs and our home.”
SEIU 1199NE represents approximately 90 members at Charlesgate including Registered nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Med Techs, Dietary and Housekeeping and more.