Hospital board hears abuse complaint

BY SARAH PRIDGEON

The daughter of a resident of the nursing home at Sundance Hospital addressed the Board of Trustees at this month’s regular meeting, hoping to bring a halt to the issues her mother has been facing, including claims of physical and verbal abuse.

According to her daughter, the patient moved into the nursing home in December and met with problems almost immediately. “This is her home now – if I could look after her alone for 13 years, a full staff ought to be able to do it,” she said.

The daughter explained she and her mother had both complained constantly about the situation but seen no improvement. “She should be treated a lot better than she is. She suffers verbal abuse when she needs to urinate, when she just wants to be clean.”

“I’m tired of it, something should be done,” she continued. “Mom complains and nothing happens – it’s as if they don’t believe it’s happening, but it’s their job to help her. Something is wrong here and it should be corrected – I will not brush this under the rug.”

Board Chairman Bruce Brown thanked the daughter for bringing the situation to their attention and, along with the rest of the board, promised that it would be properly addressed. “We certainly don’t support this as a board – we thank you for your input, people need to be held accountable,” he said.

“What happened to her could happen to anyone else,” added Board Member Kevin Moline. “Some of the board have relatives in the nursing home too, we can certainly understand how this affects you.”

The daughter commented that she knows of one member of staff who has been let go as a result of the allegations. CEO Jannette Van Beek confirmed that the problem is being addressed and that a plan of action has been in progress for almost a month.

Van Beek explained that the board had been unaware of this plan because there hadn’t yet been a meeting of the board; Board Member Sandy Neiman requested that an executive session be added to the current meeting to discuss the situation, saying, “We need to know about this.”

According to Van Beek, Adult Protection Services, the Department of Health and the medical district are working together to address the patient’s concerns. “We are working on it,” she concluded.