When the Fuchs family acquired the Pavilion at Queens, a 302-bed rehabilitation facility in early 2015, they immediately made improvements, including a 3,000-square-foot therapy center, high-tech ventilator equipment, an expanded dialysis center and a new state-of-the-art gym. They even accommodated the eighth floor for Chinese patients, because eight is a lucky number in their culture.
IT'S PERSONAL: Massapequa center
“Everything we do here is centered on the residents’ health and getting them home,” says family patriarch Bernie Fuchs, whose family owns seven other rehab facilities in the New York region. “Our goal is provide a temporary home for short-term rehabilitation. We want them to be as comfortable as possible while they’re here, but get them back home to their loved ones where they belong.”
This philosophy was evident when they brought a real Volkswagen Beetle into the center so residents could get reacquainted with the act of driving as well as entering and leaving a vehicle, and when they unveiled a new “home” built inside the center with a complete kitchen, bedroom set, washer and dryer, staircase and bathroom, so residents can practice the everyday tasks they will need to return home.
“We want our residents to be 100 percent focused on going home and have their eyes set on the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Bernie’s son Gerry Fuchs, who is COO of the Pavilion. “As a family enterprise, we want the families of all the residents to know that we are sensitive to the residents and the families in the community.”
“What’s unique about this facility is not only our family approach but also our commitment to invest in proper tools and equipment to treat patients to the best of our ability,” says Joel Edelstein, the Pavilion’s CFO and Bernie’s son in law. “We will do whatever it takes to provide the best care for them in a friendly, hospitable and safe environment.”
The Pavilion at Queens offers occupational, physical, speech and respiratory therapies for patients who’ve experienced everything from broken hips and knee replacements to strokes, heart problems, brain injuries and age-related difficulties like dementia.
The staff—from nurses, dieticians and therapists to housekeepers and maintenance personnel—is as committed to their patients as the Fuchs family. “Most of our people have been here for years, and many since the facility originally opened,” says Jerry. “They are more than dedicated.”
“Our nurses are teachers, counselors, mentors, clinical experts and advocates for our residents,” says Bernie. “Their roles are always expanding, especially with current changes in response to the demands of modern-day healthcare. The personalized quality of care at The Pavilion makes the difference to our patients.”
How did the Fuchs family get so involved in rehabilitation? It turns out that Bernie was in the electronics business for years but saw opportunities in healthcare and wanted to work with his sons, daughters and their spouses. It seems to be working well, since they all live within a two-block radius of each other, and they enjoy spending time together.
And together, they face challenges in healthcare, which are many, including constantly changing technology and regulations. “This is the most regulated industry in the world,” Bernie says. “We’re very hands-on, we must always adapt and maximize opportunities; we can’t rest on our laurels. That’s why it’s good to have the new generation involved.”