The home care agency of White Plains-based Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) is scaling back its operations due to financial pressures, WJCS CEO Seth Diamond told the Business Journal in an interview. The agency had filed a notice with the New York State Department of Labor saying that it will be laying off 73 employees. Home Health Services of WJCS Inc. filed the notice on June 17.
Home Health Services is a New York state-licensed home care agency. It was founded in 1947. It provides services to residents of Westchester and the Bronx. It uses personal care aides and certified home health care aides, who work under the supervision of registered nurses, to provide or arrange for a variety of services. These can include everyday tasks such as bathing, grooming and dressing as well as occupational, physical and respiratory therapy for people in nursing homes, hospitals and senior-citizen homes.
Diamond said, “For the past several years we’ve been under tremendous financial pressure. We’ve lost several hundred thousand dollars over that period. We believe we deliver excellent home care services and by all accounts by both the patients’ reviews, our clients’ reviews, and also state audits, that’s confirmed, but because of the financial losses we had to make the difficult decision to reduce our home care business.”
Diamond emphasized that the Home Health Services division is scaling back, not shutting down. “We will still be offering health care services, but on a much smaller scale.” He said people needing services can still call WJCS. “If we could handle it, we would, but if we couldn’t we would help them find another agency that would be able to serve them. So, we’re happy to talk to people that have a home health need but we are going to be accepting many fewer cases. We’re still in the service business and we still want to make sure that people in the community have good people to help them, so if we can’t be that agency we’ll certainly connect them to someone who can.”
The notice said that the layoffs would take place during a 14-day period beginning on Sept. 23, but Diamond referred to a three-month transition period. The employees being separated are not represented by a union.
Diamond told the Business Journal that based on feedback he’s gotten concerning the need for home health care workers, employees who had been laid off and wanted to seek other jobs in home health care should be able to find them. “We also have opportunities in different areas at our own agency that we have offered people, so we’re doing this over a three-month period and we think that within that three-month period we’ll be able to assist all the home care aides who need help in finding a job and we’ll also be able to move all the cases to other agencies that can meet the needs of the people we have been serving,” Diamond said.
Westchester Jewish Community Services’ 2018 annual review reported that the entire organization had more than 750 employees serving about 20,000 people annually. Its total support and revenue for 2018 was $42,797,909. The numbers covered all of its operations, including Home Health Services.