July 15, 2005
SUSPENSION AND SURRENDER OF LICENSE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The owners of Emerald Park Health Care Center in Evergreen Park have agreed to have the license of their 249-bed skilled and intermediate care facility suspended and subsequently surrendered as part of a settlement agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, announced today.
During the suspension, the owners are barred from operating the facility, located at 9125 S. Pulaski Road in Evergreen Park, in any manner that requires Department licensure as a health care facility. In addition, the majority owner, Morris Esformes, is prohibited from applying for new licensure from IDPH under the Nursing Home Care Act for at least three years and the other owners, Marvin and Doreen Mermelstein , are prohibited from applying for new licenses for at least two years.
“Our priority has been and continues to be resident safety,” said Dr. Whitaker. “I am pleased that we have been able to reach a positive resolution in this matter. This sends as clear message that the Department and the state are willing to take whatever steps are necessary to provide for public health and the safety of Illinois’ residents.”
The agreement gives the owners a period of no more than 270 days to present to the Department a new facility owner for approval and to submit a complete application to the Health Facilities Planning Board for change of ownership. Once the facility has been sold, the license will be surrendered and deemed null and void. Failure to comply with all the requirements prior to the 270 th day will result in the immediate surrender of the license.
In addition, the current owners are prohibited from operating a nursing home at the Emerald Park location for 50 years.
The settlement does not affect the operation of the owners’ other Illinois nursing homes.
The Department began proceedings to revoke Emerald Park’s operating license in June 2004 and also fined the facility $10,000 for substantial failure to comply with the Nursing Home Care Act. A hearing on the matter was scheduled to begin Monday.
On May 10, 2005, at the request of the Department and Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Pathway Health Services was appointed by the Cook County Circuit Court to assume the day-to-day operations of Emerald Park Health Care Center. The court’s action was the result of an emergency motion filed April 27 by the Attorney General’s office on the behalf of Dr. Whitaker due to concerns about the health and safety of the residents at the facility.
Pathway assisted with the transferring of residents to other facilities and the last resident left Emerald Park June 3.
The Department began revocation proceedings after learning the facility failed to provide adequate personal care and supervision to a resident who engaged in sexual activity with multiple partners in exchange for favors and cigarettes. The resident had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and her sexual partners were not counseled about the possibility of acquiring an STD. The facility did not discover the resident was pregnant until she was at 32-weeks gestation and then failed to provide prenatal care.
After the most recent investigation at the facility concluded April 22, the Department determined that multiple deficiencies existed at the facility. These included:
Other recent serious violations against Emerald Park included:
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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