December 17, 1997
WATSEKA NURSING HOME FINED
FOR ABUSE AND COVER UP
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Magnolia Wood Health Care Center $10,000 for failing to protect residents from physical and verbal abuse, and theft, and then trying to cover up the incidents. The 76-bed skilled and intermediate care facility is located at 900 N. Market St., Watseka.
Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned of abuse, mistreatment and stealing over nearly a two-year period by one staff member involving seven residents on 10 different occasions, none of which were reported to the Department as required by state law. The employee was disciplined on at least three occasions, including two suspensions and a written reprimand, but was never restricted from having contact with residents.
The employee finally quit two days after an 88-year-old resident complained of roughing and being thrown against a bed side rail, being struck in the chest with a closed fist, having her neck twisted, having fingers dug into her arm and being told to shut up when she yelled for help. Facility staff did not call the residents physician for more than two weeks about her complaints of pain after the incident and then only after being told to do so twice by a Department surveyor.
Other abuse complaints involving the employee included a resident who had extensive skin tears to the left hand, wrist, arm and elbow after she had been put to bed; a resident who suffered two leg fractures after being put to bed; and an incontinent resident who was berated for wetting their diaper. It also was alleged the employee put a hand over a residents mouth and grabbed her neck; pushed a resident into a chair; and stole a residents money.
When investigating the allegations, a Department surveyor learned the Magnolia Wood director of nursing had encouraged other employees to withhold information about incidents of abuse by the employee or to give false information about the incidents. The director of nursing asked one employee to lie to the surveyor and attempted to tell three others what and how they should respond to questions.
Magnolia Wood Health Care Center has requested a hearing on the Departments actions. No hearing date has been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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