Nursing home damaged by tornado, residents safe


Nursing home damaged by tornado, residents safe

ILLINOIS — An Ottawa, IL, nursing home was “hit hard” by a tornado Feb. 28, but residents and employees responded well and were uninjured.

The facility itself was heavily damaged, along with 550 homes in the area. Close to 70 residents were in the building during the tornado, but the director of nursing told station WQAD that due to a fire drill the day before, the seniors were able to focus. 

“It was amazing. Very thankful. Maybe it was higher-power driven, I don’t know,” Director of Nursing Cathy Balzarini told the station.

The facility is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 19. Officials said the roof needed to be repaired, but the facility would hopefully reopen in the spring. 

State files suit over records

MICHIGAN — The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, a state group that investigates allegations of abuse against those with disabilities, has filed a federal lawsuit against Medilodge of Grand Blanc, the Flint Journal reported.

The plaintiffs say a male resident with multiple disabilities was found unresponsive and died in 2016. They asked for records in January related to opening an investigation over whether the man received adequate care and was told the records would be there the next week, the newspaper reported. 

The lawsuit, which says the nursing home has repeatedly asked for more time, is asking for the release of all records related to the death. 


Ant case leads to charges

ALABAMA — Three former members of the nursing staff at an Alabama skilled nursing facility were indicted on charges that their neglect of a resident contributed to her sustaining nearly 100 ant bites.

Licensed practical nurse Michele Curry, along with certified nursing assistants Kacey Allen and Shawna Rogers, were each charged in late February with one count of Elder Abuse/Neglect in the second degree.

The three documented that they had checked on a bedridden resident of Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Centre, AL, “numerous times” throughout the night of Sept. 3, 2016, and into the next morning, said State Attorney General Steve Marshall. 

Surveillance footage from the facility, however, showed that none of the three workers entered the resident’s room for around 11 hours that night.

The next morning, the resident was found to have roughly 100 ant bites. The employees’ “intentional neglect directly contributed to the injuries to the resident,” the AG’s office said.   

Jerry Culberson, CEO of Preferred Health Services, the company that manages Cherokee, told McKnight’s the company reported the incident immediately: “On our review of our video camera system we discovered that [the employees] were not making rounds on the third shift as they should.” 

Preston buys landmarks

TENNESSEE — The CEO of Life Care Centers of America, Forrest Preston, recently bought some major office buildings in downtown Chattanooga, the Times Free-Press reported.

The Tallan Financial Center, the Krystal Building and Riverside Business Center were included in the deal between businessman Henry Luken and a company owned by Preston. The price was not disclosed.

While the deal doesn’t involve Life Care Centers, Preston told the newspaper that there was space available in the two downtown buildings, which are considered historic properties in the central business district.Northeast

Grenades cause evacuation

NEW YORK — A long-term care resident’s refrigerator contained two World War II era grenades.

Tappan Zee Manor in Nyack, NY, was evacuated in February after police received a report of explosive devices. They searched the building and the 91-year-old resident’s car, per  USA Today. The bomb squad removed the training hand grenade and metal hand grenade.

Power loss causes damage 

CONNECTICUT — A burst sprinkler forced a nursing home in New Haven to evacuate 185 patients and residents.

The sprinkler burst above the main electrical  panel at Advanced Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on March 6, causing a widespread power problem. Mayor Toni Harp said the evacuation was “well-planned,” The New Haven Register reported.


NPs receive more leeway

SOUTH DAKOTA — South Dakota became the 22nd state to grant full practice authority to nurse practitioners in February. 

The new law requires nurse practitioners to complete 1,040 hours of training under existing mandates, along with their master’s or doctoral degrees. The bill lets both NPs and midwives work with more independence rather than with a physician. It addresses a need for more healthcare professionals in rural areas of the state, said Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R).

“This bill will eliminate a hurdle for some nurse practitioners and midwives who want to serve in those high-need communities,” he said.