Albany, NY — The Arbeeny family and the Empire Center are celebrating a year of partnership in remembrance of Norman Arbeeny, who passed away two years ago today after contracting COVID-19 in a Brooklyn nursing home.

In memorial of Norman, and in effort to bring more transparency to state government, the Arbeeny family made a generous donation to support the Empire Center’s work.

“We miss our Dad every day, but we are confident that the Empire Center—and the work they do to promote responsible, accountable government—is honoring his legacy,” said Peter Arbeeny, Norman’s son. “New Yorkers must come together to demand better from our government. It’s unacceptable that two years later our Dad is still not counted among those nursing home residents who passed away from COVID-19.”

The Empire Center is committed to providing New Yorkers with a fuller picture of their government’s pandemic response. Chief among the revelations was the Cuomo Administration’s attempts to cover up nursing home mortality data. Early last year, a state Supreme Court judge ordered the Department of Health to disclose full records of COVID-related nursing home deaths in response to an Empire Center lawsuit for the information.

“It is vitally important for New Yorkers to have access to government information, especially COVID data, to both learn from the response to this pandemic and to better prepare for the next,” said Tim Hoefer, president and CEO of the Empire Center. “We are committed to keeping state government accountable and honest—and it’s thanks to the Arbeeny family and so many others that we can continue this work on behalf of all New Yorkers.”

The Arbeeny Family’s generous donation has supported the Empire Center’s ongoing efforts to promote government transparency and accountability.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

You may also like

NY’s First COVID Wave Hit Weeks Earlier Than First Reported 

New York City’s first coronavirus wave has emerged as one of the deadliest of the entire global pandemic, revealing critical weaknesses in the state’s public health defenses. Read More

Report documents growing use of ‘related companies’ by New York’s nursing home operators

New York's nursing home operators are increasingly outsourcing expenses to separate companies that they also own or control. Read More

Empire Center Appeals COVID FOIL Request Delays

Empire Center has appealed four delayed Freedom of Information Law requests pertaining to state COVID-19 data Read More

Three of 62 Requested COVID Data Sets Made Available through FOIL

Just three COVID data sets have been made fully available in the month since the Empire Center officially submitted 62 FOIL requests Read More

A Shadowy Non-Profit that Employs One-Fifth of the New York State Health Department Claims To Be Exempt from FOIL

In another blow to transparency in Albany, a non-profit group closely tied to the state Health Department is refusing to publicly disclose its payroll records under the Freedom of Information Law. (HRI) has funct Read More

Post-Pandemic, New York should “Keep the Change”

Albany, NY — Many of the executive orders signed during the COVID-19 pandemic should be codified into law, specifically those that address health care services, occupational licensing and government transparency, according to a new Empi Read More

Cuomo Administration Releases FOIL-Requested Nursing Home Data

Tonight the Cuomo administration released additional data on coronavirus deaths in long-term care facilities that the Empire Center requested under the Freedom of Information Law. Read More

Empire Center Sues Cuomo Administration for Withholding Nursing Home COVID Data

The Empire Center today filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Health (DOH) after DOH refused to release records showing the full count of coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents, including those that occurred after patients were transferred to hospitals. Read More