State to step in as Holyoke Geriatric Authority closes - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State to step in as Holyoke Geriatric Authority closes

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The Department of Public Health will provide necessary funding to keep the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke open until its closing day.

The board of directors met Monday, briefly discussing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy but also hearing from the director of the adult daycare center, a private entity who operates inside who says he'll have to close with the authority.

"I don't have the answers, all I have is that it doesn't look like we have the money. I can't keep a staff working if I can't pay them," said Director of Adult Day Health Rick Caneschi.

Caneschi told the Geriatric Authority's board of directors that he, too, will have to close with them on May 13.

"I have no choice at this time because of the financial situation to look at meeting my state requirements under the Adult Day Health program," he said. 

He had hoped the daycare program would be able to stay open on its own but they rely too much on resources provided by the Geriatric Authority such as social workers, food vendors and the billing department. Caneschi said if he had more time to figure out finances, it'd be more likely he could stay open.

"I have to use that May 13 closing date and considering that we are in some financial distress right now even to meet that May 13, I had to proceed," Caneschi said. 

His decision comes on the same day Mayor Alex Morse announced the Department of Public Health will provide enough funding to keep the authority open until its closing date, providing food and care to patients and money to workers until May 13.

Morse said in a statement, "The reality is that a significant chapter of Holyoke's history is coming to an end, and we have to make sure that the remaining employees and residents of the GAH are successfully relocated, provided for, and given the best care available."

The state will pay the authority in the form of bi-weekly payments.

Caneschi says he'll now work to get his 54 clients and 11 employees to another facility.

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