Syracuse Nursing Home Placed on “Special Focus” List


Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse has received a total of 89 citations and was placed on a list by the federal government after inspectors found serious issues that could name this nursing home one of the worst facilities in the country.

A “troubled” nursing home in Syracuse, New York has been placed on the federal government’s “special focus facilities list,” meaning it may end up named one of the worst-performing facilities in the country for a second time, according to a report by

The nursing home, Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, was first placed on the SFF list in 2011 after it was found to have “serious quality problems.” At the time its owner was Onondaga County; a few years later, it was purchased by the for-profit nursing home organization Upstate Services Group, which still owns it today.

As notes, if nursing homes on the SFF list fail to address their problems, they may lose critical funding from Medicare and Medicaid. Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing was placed on the SFF candidate list in September following findings by state inspectors—who generally survey nursing homes for health and safety code violations on an annual basis, but scrutinize SFF-listed homes twice annually or more—found numerous infractions at the facility, including the November 2020 death of a resident suffering from “serious complications of diabetes after nurses failed to tell a doctor the person’s blood sugar levels were dangerously high.”


The nursing home could lose funding after  inspectors found that the nursing home staff members failed to follow PPE guidelines, the patients suffered from issues with hygiene, and medications were expired.

Inspectors also found residents with hygiene issues and expired meds, staffers failing to follow PPE procedures, and “an immobile 700-pound resident who could not be evacuated if a fire broke out.” In December 202, an 84-year-old resident died of an accidental hanging after falling and getting her hospital gown “caught on a bathroom door handle.” As the report notes, the resident’s care plan included a requirement for assistance transferring to the bathroom and back to her bed, but in this instance “staff did not help her.”

Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing’s inspection records are available via the New York Department of Health. They currently show six enforcement actions against the facility since 2012, resulting in a total of $74,000 in fines. The nursing home has received 89 health and safety code citations over the course of 20 inspections since 2017 (with six inspections that did not result in any citations). The most recent inspection, in June 2021, found failures to prevent and control infection, to protect residents from accidents, to maintain an effective pest control program, to label and store drugs and biological materials, and to provide residents with a safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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