March 31, 1998

CHICAGO NURSING HOME
FINED FOR RESIDENT ABUSE

SPRINGFIELD, IL —The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Wincrest Nursing Center $10,000 for a staff member striking a 72-year-old resident on the head with a coffee cup and then throwing wet bed linens at the woman, knocking her to the floor. The 82- bed intermediate care facility is located at 6326 N. Winthrop Ave., Chicago.

Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned the resident was taken to a hospital emergency department where she required seven stitches to close two head wounds. She also had bruises to her forehead and to the bridge of her nose.

Both incidents were observed by the woman's roommate, who pretended to be asleep.

The staff member told another employee the woman was unsteady getting out of bed and fell against the wall. The employee did not believe the story, but did not report her suspicions to the nursing center administration. The facility's policy requires that an employee accused of abuse be removed from direct resident care pending an investigation. The employee, however, continued to provide care to residents for more than five hours after the incident and then worked a double shift the following day.

After the Department and police began an investigation, the employee was terminated.

As part of a mandatory plan of correction, the Department ordered the facility to train its employees on reporting incidents of suspected abuse or neglect and to take precautions on preventing the reoccurrence of abuse.

Wincrest Nursing Center has requested a hearing on the Department's action. No hearing date has been scheduled.





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