The following is a statement from Mayor Alex Morse on the closing of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke.
“No one is happy about the situation at the Geriatric Authority. I know the boards’ decision to close wasn’t easy, but was necessary due to the dire financial situation. This will ultimately protect the tax payers of this City, the employees of the GAH, and the residents of the facility.
Now that the Commonwealth has accepted the plan for closure there is a clear procedure in place that will be closely monitored by the Department of Public Health, ensuring the safety of the residents. The ultimate goal of this process will be a smooth transition from the Authority to other local facilities. Families of the residents have been notified and will be an integral part of the process.
My office, in coordination with Rep. Aaron Vega and Sen. Don Humason, has requested the Division of Labor and Workforce Development provide assistance to the 120 employees impacted by this decision. The Division has assembled a rapid response team who will be meeting with employees, union officials and the Authority’s Human Resource personnel early next week.
I want to be clear that the agreement that was signed by the city and the board in January is still in place, and while the closure process may delay the timing of an RFP being issued, we fully intend to move forward with the sale of the building. I, along with other city officials look forward to continue the productive working relationships developed with board members and staff.
As this process moves forward, my thoughts are with everyone who gave their heart and soul to make sure this facility was one that provided quality care and treated the residents with respect and dignity. While this chapter in the Geriatric Authority is closing, their hard work will not be forgotten and they deserve our thanks.”