HEADLINES

Famous Artist's Mother Hospitalized

Before injuries.

The mother of famed artist, James De La Vega, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_De_La_Vega has been admitted to Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx after experiencing a fall.

His mother, Elsie Matos, was admitted to the Kingsbridge area Citadel Nursing and Rehab Center located at 3400 Cannon Pl. Bronx, NY one year ago as a result of complications from diabetes. Unable to walk, she remains wheel chair bound

Her son visits her weekly. However, on a November 19th 2017, visit, he became alarmed when he discovered disturbing bruises on his mother's arm. The room was cold due to a broken window and his mother told him that she had fallen.

After speaking with the facility authorities, he was informed that the fall allegedly occurred on November 13th, 2017, according to De La Vega.  Although Citadel did not notify him about the fall, De La Vega was reportedly told that Citadel had filed an accident report and that xrays had been taken. A copy of the report was requested by the family but has not been received to date. 

On January 21st, 2018, James received a call at 6:00 am informing him that his mother had been admitted to Montefiore Hospital. Citadel reportedly stated that his mother fell and sustained facial injuries in a dining room on January 20th, 2018.

Matos, who is in her early seventies, described a vague recollection of the incident. Previous to the accident, her family describes her as being lucid, and in good spirits. They are awaiting the results of an MRI to determine the extent of the injuries.

Citadel is a 400 bed private nursing facility. The cost per patient according to their website is $250-$275 per day. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted. 

In 2016, they fell under the scrutiny of government watchdog groups.

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Watchdogs question $30M grant to Citadel rehab center

Posted July 6, 2016  (Riverdale Press)
 
By Anthony Capote

Correction appended.

Government watchdogs have recently discovered a $30 million allocation for a Kingsbridge nursing home with a checkered history concealed in the state budget.

The money is set to be donated to Citadel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center — whose owners have contributed thousands of dollars to Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein’s campaigns, according to a New York Post report this spring. 

“A little-noticed provision of this year’s budget directs $30 million to a single nursing home in the Bronx, which is unusual even by the standards of New York State government,” a report by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a watchdog group, read. 

“The allocation received passing mention [in a May 24] budget report from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.” the report read. 

The nursing home, formerly known as Kingsbridge Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, will receive $1 million every year for the next 30 years, according to the watchdog group. 

“I don’t understand why this particular nursing home should be getting so much extra money,” Bill Hammond, the chief of health policy at the Empire Center and the author of the report, said. “The health department gave [the owner] a permit to renovate. Because he was renovating, he got less reimbursement than if he were building a new one.”

Mr. Hammond accused Mr. Klein of striking a deal with state legislators to circumnavigate the health department and give Citadel additional funds to renovate and expand the nursing home. Neither the state senator, nor Citadel representatives responded to multiple requests for comment on this story. 

“Favoritism and the fact that it happens to be in the district of a leader in the state senate gave this nursing home an unfair advantage,” Mr. Hammond said. “As an outsider looking in, it doesn’t make sense to me that the legislature would go out of its way to give this nursing home more money than it was allotted.”

The owners of Citadel told the Empire Center that the money requested for renovations was necessary to bring the nursing home back into working condition, after the building fell into disarray under its former owner, who died in 2011. Kingsbridge Heights fell on troubled times in 2008, when workers went on strike after the then-owner, Helen Sieger, stopped paying health benefits. 

Ms. Sieger was later indicted and died in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, a facility used by the New York City Department of Correction to hold seriously ill inmates. After that, the nursing home was sold to Citadel – which is jointly owned by Leopold Friedman, who holds a 50 percent stake and serves as chief executive, Esther Farkowitz with a 25 percent stake, Gabrielle Philipson with 20 percent, and Bent Philipson with 5 percent. 

The new owners have donated at least $10,000 to Mr. Klein’s campaigns, the New York Post has reported. 

Mr. Klein told Mr. Hammond that the $30 million allocation would ultimately save the state $78 million because the owners of Citadel would have received more money if they had built an entirely new facility.

“To me it looks like favoritism,” Mr. Hammond said. “Klein had leverage in budget negotiations and used it to give this nursing home an unfair advantage.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Ms. Sieger died in police custody. In fact, as The Press reported in an April 27, 2011 article about Ms. Sieger's death, she died in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, a facility used by the New York City Department of Correction to hold seriously ill inmates.

 

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