(Delmarva Now) -- Accomack County's top elected official was quick to react to Riverside Health System's announcement that it will close its nursing home in Parksley in 60 days.
"I am disappointed with the decision to close Riverside Rehabilitation Center," said Robert Crockett, Accomack County Board of Supervisors chairman, in an email sent late Tuesday, after Riverside announced the closing of Riverside Shore Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday afternoon.
"Long-term care for those in need is not by choice but a necessity, and to lose one of only four such facilities on the Eastern Shore of Virginia will have a tremendous impact. Not only will it impact the residents who rely on the center's services, it is an impact to the employees at the center whose jobs are in jeopardy," Crockett said, adding, "It is indeed unfortunate."
Riverside officials said the facility is closing because of "multiple building issues" —including recurrent flooding and a recent lightning strike that affected the fire panel.
The facility's closing affects 89 long-term residents and 128 employees.
An additional 12 residents are expected to be discharged before Oct. 21 — the date until which Riverside said it will continue to operate the nursing home.
“The Riverside Shore Rehabilitation Center infrastructure has outlived its useful life expectancy,” said Ed Heckler, Vice President of Riverside Lifelong Health Division.
“Our most viable alternative is to close the facility," he said.
The rehabilitation center received an above-average rating — four out of five possible stars — on a government website, Medicare.gov's Nursing Home Compare.
The ratings are derived from a combination of health inspections, staffing and quality or resident care measures, according to the website. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calculates a star rating for each of the three factors, along with an overall rating.