Since last week, several news stories critical of Brius’ plans to shutter 3 of its 5 nursing homes in Humboldt – Eureka, Pacific, and Seaview rehabilitation and wellness centers – have appeared in the North Coast Journal, Eureka Times Standard, and Sacramento Bee. These come as the California Department of Public Health is set to release its ruling on Brius’ revised closure plans sometime today (9/28/2016).
On September 22nd, the Journal wrote that interested groups – community members, elder advocates, labor groups, and political officials – have scrutinized Brius’ closure plans, alleging that Brius is “simply putting large profits over basic community – and human – needs,” adding that the closure of these facilities will have “reverberating impacts throughout Humboldt County.”
Similarly, on September 23rd, the Eureka Times Standard issued a story that quotes California Senator Mike McGuire as saying “the ripple effect of simultaneous closures will impact 58 percent of skilled nursing home beds in Humboldt County. It will usher in a health care system crisis, which is completely avoidable because these closures are voluntary.”
Lastly, a story from the Sacramento Bee (September 24) stated that Brius’ intentions to close these 3 nursing homes would be the second time the corporation has taken such a step in the past 18 months. The Bee went on to add,
“In 2014, the company closed a nursing home in rural Fresno County after state officials threatened to shut it down as a result of ‘immediate and serious risks’ to residents. Nearly 80 residents at Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre near Auberry were transferred, with some making the 450-mile journey to Humboldt County.”
Many of these former Wish-I-Ah residents are now being prepared for yet another transfer, one that could land them as far away as Klamath Falls, Oregon, nearly 200 miles north of these Humboldt nursing homes.