NewsJefferson Hills Care Home Faces Closure Amidst Payroll Crisis and Staffing Woes

Jefferson Hills Care Home Faces Closure Amidst Payroll Crisis and Staffing Woes

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Jefferson Hills, Pa. – The Jefferson Hills Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center abruptly closed its doors due to an unforeseen staffing shortage, leaving employees without pay and residents relocated on short notice.

Last week, a substantial number of employees walked off the job, citing delayed or nonexistent paychecks as the primary cause. According to reports from KDKA-TV, paychecks had been delayed three times since the beginning of the year, with employees still awaiting compensation for the scheduled payday on Feb. 23.

Former employee Jenna Smith expressed the financial struggles faced by many, stating, “A lot of us have shut-off notices and overdrawn bank accounts.”

With critically low staffing levels, the facility had no choice but to shut down, hastily relocating all residents to other care homes with little more than an hour’s notice.

By Saturday morning, the windows were boarded up, and the facility was empty, as witnessed by KDKA-TV’s cameras capturing company vans hauling away furniture on Monday.

Former employee Patricia Becher described the emotional toll on residents, saying, “They were crying, they were very distraught. It’s like you’re ripped from your home. Some of them have been there for 10-plus years.”

Bonamour Health Group, the company owning the center, released a statement attributing the payroll challenges to a cyberattack on Feb. 21. The statement acknowledged the impact on staffing levels and announced the temporary closure of the Jefferson Hills Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center effective March 1, 2024.

The statement read, “With the challenges created from the above-mentioned circumstances, combined with the cyber-attack occurring on 2/21/2024 impacting the ability to maintain staffing levels at Jefferson Hills Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, the decision was made to temporarily close the facility effectively 3/1/2024 to give the sister facilities a chance to succeed.”

When KDKA-TV sought information about the employees’ overdue wages, management ordered them off the property, leaving many questions unanswered.

Barbara Hillgartner, whose 84-year-old mother was at the center, expressed her shock upon discovering the closure during a visit on Saturday. She described the scene as reminiscent of ‘The Twilight Zone,’ with lights and TVs still on, food trays in rooms, and a sense of abrupt abandonment.

Hillgartner’s mother was transferred to the John J. Kane Regional Center in McKeesport, with county spokespersons stating that Kane Community Living Centers staff worked extra hours to assist in the transfer of 35 patients.

Livid with the handling of the situation, Hillgartner voiced concerns about the care her mother received, questioning, “I’m concerned, what kind of care were you giving my mom? Were you feeding her correctly?”

The fate of the care home remains uncertain, leaving both employees and residents in limbo regarding the possibility of reopening.

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