Elected officials were given a tour of the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica last Thursday as the location is under new ownership and will undergo some renovations.
“About 80 percent of the rooms in the facility are private rooms which is very, very rare in nursing home rehab centers,” said owner Alex Solovey. “It’s a really nice and inviting atmosphere.”
The center, located at 164-11 Chapin Pkwy., offers patients long-term residential care, short-term rehabilitation, hospice care and holistic services as well as music therapy.
The Tietz Center was founded in 1971 with the mission of serving Holocaust survivors.
It is a fully kosher facility and there is housing for families to stay free of charge for any holidays.
“All of the amenities we have in place for the Jewish community here, we’re still in the borough of Queens,” said Linda Spiegel, public affairs director of the center. “We have people from every background coming into our facility. We have people from every background working in our facility.”
She added, “We take care of the families and the person that’s here.”
Visiting the location were state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing), Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton).
“Margaret Tietz is such a real anchor in our community ... bringing together so many communities,” Meng said.
She noted that the place has extra personal meaning.
“My grandfather in his last leg of his journey was here as well and my family is very thankful for the experience and treatment that he got here,” Meng said. “I think many people in our community can say the same thing from all different backgrounds.”
Weprin said, “Margaret Tietz has always been a good community neighbor.”
Solovey, who expects major renovations to begin within four weeks, said there will be a major focus on enhancing religious community service, expanding the synagogue, remodeling the first floor of the building and upgrading the rooms. There is also a 12-bed hospice unit that he will look to utilize more often.
“We’re maintaining the staffing levels, we’re trying to improve quality of service, concentrating heavily on rehab,” he said.
He said there are 80 short-term rehab beds coming in.
Addabbo noted the good “morale” in the building, from the workers to the patients. He also acknowledged the hard work it takes to run a medical facility in this day and age.
“To maintain it and, at times, improve, is an endeavor,” Addabbo said.
One success in recent years was the restoration of the garden at the center. Project ReBloom saw Sharyn Schneider, a friend of a patient who died at the facility, help secure donations and planting materials and recruited volunteers to help her plant.