June 8, 2000
RECEIVER APPOINTED TO MANAGE AND CLOSE
HERITAGE HOUSE OF CHARLESTON
SPRINGFIELD, IL At the request of the Illinois Department of Public Health, a new management team has been appointed by the Coles County Circuit Court to assume the day-to- day operations of Heritage House of Charleston and to begin steps to close the 91-bed intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said he asked Attorney General Jim Ryan to seek the receivership late Wednesday due to concerns about the health and safety of the residents. Robert Zabka, the owner of the Heritage House, 738 18th St., agreed to the operation takeover, which was signed today by Circuit Judge Gary W. Jacobs.
Since February, the Department has fined Heritage House $40,000 and moved to revoke the facilitys license for a series of state nursing home care violations that include repeated instances of abuse, neglect and lack of adequate staff. (Statements of Violation: December 1999, March 2000, May 2000) The Department had assigned a monitor in August 1999 to regularly visit the facility to check on the welfare of the residents.
Heritage House has demonstrated an inability to provide for the proper care and treatment of its residents and to protect them from harm, Dr. Lumpkin said. The court-appointed receiver, Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC), today will start the process of an organized closure of the facility.
Chicago ARC assumed complete operational control of Heritage House today after a 10 a.m. meeting with the facility staff and immediately began conferring with residents and their families and guardians on alternative care facilities. Dr. Lumpkin said the timetable for closure of Heritage House will depend on the availability of beds for the 81 residents currently residing in the facility, but should be completed within six months.
In addition to the state actions against Heritage House, the federal Health Care Financing Administration has been involved in ongoing proceedings since September 1999 to remove the facility from participation in the Medicaid and Medicare program due to lack of active treatment, supervision and health care, and to failure to followup on reports of abuse.
As the result of complaint and incident report investigations dating to September 1999, Department surveyors have documented the following:
Heritage House of Charleston has requested hearings on the Departments earlier fines and disciplinary actions. No hearing dates have been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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