In Memorium: Edward J. Stafford (1940-2016)

Dick Herrick and Stephen Hanse

It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of Edward J. Stafford, former Executive Director of the New York State Health Facilities Association.

Ed served with dedication as Executive Director from 1986 to 2002.  Prior to that time, he had served as President of NYSHFA’s Board of Directors from 1971 to 1973, and in 1976 he joined the NYSHFA staff as Director of Governmental Relations.

Ed was actively involved in the skilled nursing facility profession for 42 years.  His career began when he started working for his family facility, the Stafford Nursing Home in Syracuse in 1960.  In recognition of his parents’ dedication to the profession, he established the Ruth E. Stafford Scholarship Program in memory of his mother.

During his distinguished career, Ed held the positions of Executive Board Member of the American Health Care Association, Chirman of the AHCA Life Safety Committee, Member of the National Fire Protection Association Institutional Occupancy Committee, New York State delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, and was a founder and the first President of the New York State Chapter of the American College of Nursing Home Administrators.  He was also Vice President of AHCA Region II, and was a member of the Empire State Society of Association Executives.  Upon his retirement in 2002, he received numerous accolades in recognition of his many achievements.  These included the NYSHFA Outstanding Service Award, the “Pillars of Our Industry” designation by the New York State Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators, and the “2002 Distinguished Member of the Year” award from the Empire State Society of Association Executives.

Throughout his career, Ed was a tireless and staunch advocate for the elderly and the professionals who cared for them.  He was a respected voice in the halls of the Legislature, both in Washington and in Albany.  He will be remembered most, however, for his dignity, warmth and humility.  His was indeed a life well-lived, and he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.  On behalf of the New York State Health Facilities Association members and staff, I extend our sincerest sympathy and condolences to Ed’s wife, Ronnie, his daughters Lisa and Linda, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A wake will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Thomas J. Pirro, Jr. Funeral Home, located at 3401 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York 13212 (315-451-9500).  A Mass of Christian burial will follow on Thursday morning, November 10, 2016.

Richard J. Herrick
President and CEO
New York State Health Facilities Association