By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Following two successful surveys, increased staffing and enhanced training, Cooperstown Center has been taken off the list designating the facility, formerly known as Focus Otsego, off the Special Focus Facility list.
“Morale is much better,” said Administrator Jeff Emhoff, who is leaving for a new job at Fox Hospital at the end of the week.
The facility was put on the list in Jan. 2017, after it was found to have numerous deficiencies in staff – including multiple allegations of abuse and mistreatment – as well as hazardous health conditions.
In 2018, Focus was sold to Centers. “That’s when the improvements began,” said Emhoff. “We were able to access new resources.”
Chief among those resources was increased staffing. “We have a program now where we pay for CNA training,” he said. “And we employ those people part-time while they’re in school.”
Centers also pays for enhanced training, including LPN and RN certifications. “Every day I get a report on upcoming staffing issues, and we’ve been so successful that we’ve met almost all of our needs. That’s very challenging in a rural facility.”
Though Centers passed their surveys last March, Emhoff said it had to wait until the list was released earlier this month to formally announce that the facility had graduated from their Special Focus Facility designation.