Think Tank: Board of Visitors

A Proposal for Discussion: the Board of Visitors


In order to assure that something as disruptive as this strike does not happen again, we are proposing a way to monitor what is going on inside the walls of the Kingsbridge Heights Rehabilitative and Care Center; we are proposing new Legislation. We found that the New York State Department of Mental Health has something called the Board of Visitors, and copied MHL §7.33 (h) but changed the words for our situation. We propose a Board of Visitors for each nursing home in the State, under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Health, who would train, investigate and certify board members. Board members would not be compensated for their time, but allowable expenses for travel and copies, as well as refreshments at the meetings would be reimbursed by DOH. Board meetings would be required once a year and as often as once a month, as needed. The Administrator would be required to attend the meetings, as would a representative of the DOH.


Any member of the Board of Visitors of an NH facility may visit and inspect such facility at any time ….the board shall have the power to investigate all charges against the director and all cases of alleged patient abuse or mistreatment… conducting such an investigation, the board shall have the power, in accordance with the civil practice law and rules, to subpoena witnesses, compel their testimony,….and require the production of any books or records deemed relevant to the investigation.


The composition of the Board of Visitors would be neighborhood people (as modeled after the early OMRDD group home Advisory Boards), union workers and some family representatives.



Next topic: Standards for Nursing Home Management. After listening to the interview on Bronx Talk, it is scary to think about what was said. Can you imagine that there are no required staff ratio’s and that some NY homes operate with minimal staff, others require families to provide aides to care for the patient? We need to talk about what kind of standards we need and how we can monitor this soon to be another “Nursing Home Scandal.”

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2 responses to “Think Tank: Board of Visitors”

  1. F.I.P.N.A. » Blog Archive » Strike Update Day 63 - (4/22/2008)

    […] We (FIPNA) are working on new legislature that we hope will prevent this kind of event from ever happening again. Please have a look at the Proposal for Discussion: the Board of Visitors. […]

  2. F.I.P.N.A. » Blog Archive » Strike Update Day 177 - (8/14/2008)

    […] While everyone is happy that this strike appears to be near its end, we still have a lot of work in front of us to make sure something like this does not happen again. We need better standards for nursing homes so in the future this kind of thing will not take so long to resolve. We are looking to the future and we will be working to get legislation passed to create a Board of Visitors. You can read what we wrote about it back in April here: Board of Visitors Legislation. […]

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