BUFFALO, NY — Health care workers union 1199SEIU held a rally for quality care at Buffalo nursing homes Thursday.

The rally was held at Emerald South Nursing Home that has been at the center of an ongoing New York State Department of Health investigation following the recent death of a resident.

The facility experienced the death of Ruth Murray who was beaten to death by another resident in 2016.

Staff have complained about lower staff to resident ratios and not having enough equipment to do their jobs.

According to employees, on several occasions Emerald South’s paychecks bounced.



1199SEIU Union Vice President Todd Hobler says part of the problem is with the management of these nursing facilities — many who are not in Western New York.

“It’s a byproduct of a number of things,” said Hobler. “The fact is this shouldn’t happen when somebody comes to a nursing home they should be provided care they shouldn’t fall out of windows, they shouldn’t get beaten to death.”

The union wrote a letter to the NYS DOH demanding action to improve nursing facilities in Buffalo.

The department released a statement saying in part:

“The state health department remains committed to protecting the well-being of all nursing home residents, including those at Emerald South.  We regularly conduct comprehensive inspections of every nursing home in New York State and will continue to hold nursing home providers who violate federal and state regulations accountable for their actions.” 

Emerald South was also declared a Special Focus Facility (SFF).

Hobler says this means the facility will be under increased surveillance and anything that results in a citation will be posted on the Department’s Nursing Home Profiles website.