By Marisa Brahney
Oct 07, 2009
ENGLEWOOD: Time is running out for a local nursing home to fix violations that state inspectors say puts the well-being of residents at risk.
The inspectors paid an unannounced visit to the Englewood Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center after getting a complaint from a worker.
A former employee at the center says for years, she tried to get the mold problems there addressed.
She recently took her complaints to the Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA.
Now, the agency says it has cited the nursing home for failing to keep the building sanitary for its patients.
“I started employment with them back in 2005, and I started noticing issues right away,” the whistleblower said.
The former employee, who didn’t want to be identified, says her concerns about mold and structural issues at Englewood Health Care fell on deaf ears.
“You can literally pull the drywall off. You can see the cement and you can see the mold,” she said.
But she says management was not doing enough to permanently fix the problem. That’s when she called AHCA,
“I actually took the surveyor through and they saw what I was talking about and they substantiated my complaints,” she said.
Following that inspection, the agency has cited the nursing home for:
Mold and water intrusion
Finding peeling paint, soft walls, and deteriorating windowsills in two residents’ rooms
AHCA says Englewood Health Care’s “failure to repair water damage, prevent mold, and repair and maintain the building” equates to a substandard level of care.
“Because it’s a nursing home, there’s no attention put on it, which I don’t think is right,” said the former employee.
This whistleblower called the state to change that. She says she believes it was a call that cost her that job.
“AHCA came in on Friday, they terminated me on Tuesday,” she said.
But, she says, it was a small price to pay for the dignity and the well being of the patients who call the building home.
“The families and the residents have the right to know what is going on with the facility they have their loved ones in,” she said.
No one from Englewood Health Care would speak on camera, but said none of the residents were harmed by these issues.
Administrators say they were addressing the issues when AHCA did the inspection and are still working on them.
Following AHCA’s visit, managers say an industrial hygienist and nursing specialist have examined building and patients.
Administrators say they notified patients’ physicians and promise to notify all of the patients’ families.
AHCA is giving the nursing home until October 25th to fix the issues.
Note – Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. katy