Rivington House, one of the city’s largest nursing home for AIDS patients, has announced it is closing in November. The news was first reported in the Crain’s Health Pulse newsletter (subscription required).
According to the story, the facility has been “nearly half-empty for at least two years, a testimony to the advances in medicine that have let those afflicted with AIDS live longer.” Rivington House is operated by VillageCare, a not-for-profit organization with four other chronic care facilities in Manhattan.
The 206-bed Lower East Side center opened in 1995. About 100 residents are being transferred to other facilities and 231 staff members are expected to lose their jobs. More from the article:
“This was a tough decision,” a spokesman for Rivington House, which tried to convert its specialty nursing home license to one for a general population. But as state policy now emphasizes delivering more long-term care services outside of institutions, Rivington House instead filed a closure plan three months ago. The state Department of Health approved the plan on July 16. Despite the loss of jobs, the closure is in many ways a “success story,” said the spokesman. Many people with AIDS today “live long, productive and healthy lives. They can be cared for in a variety of settings, just as anyone else with a chronic disease. Simply put, the need for a single-purpose skilled nursing facility like Rivington House that segregates AIDS patients is long past,” Rivington House wrote to staff and residents on Friday.
VillageCare says it hasn’t decided what to do with its Rivington Street building. The five-story Romanesque Revival-style structure, designed by architect C.B.J. Snyder, is the former home of P.S. 20. It was built in 1898 and consumes an entire city block. The article noted that the property is worth millions and that a sale could help VillageCare support its programs elsewhere in the city. 45 Rivington is not a landmark-protected building.