Oakwood Slapped With Serious Citation Despite New Management

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) - The state's largest facility for mentally
retarded adults has been cited again over the injury of a patient.
A staffer at the Communities at Oakwood left a shoeprint on a
patient's face during an incident on June 17, according to a
citation released Monday.
Oakwood officials failed to conduct a thorough investigation of
the incident by not questioning the staff properly and not
reviewing video surveillance, according to the citation.
The videotape revealed a caretaker striking the patient and the
"staff then dragged the client across the floor to the client's
The Type A citation, the most serious kind, is the third issued
by state inspectors in the last two months against Bluegrass Mental
Health/Mental Retardation Board, which took over operations at the
Somerset facility in November.
Bluegrass President Joseph Toy told The Courier-Journal that he
is disturbed by the most recent incident and has fired four
employees. A fifth employee involved in the incident resigned.
He stressed that Bluegrass remains committed to improving care
and safety for the 230 residents at Oakwood.
Mark D. Birdwhistell, secretary for Cabinet for Health and
Family Services Secretary, which oversees Oakwood, called the June
incident "clearly unacceptable."
However, "we remain encouraged by the progress Bluegrass has
made at Oakwood, including the ability to swiftly address staff
discipline issues in instances such as this," Birdwhistell said in
a statement Monday.
The facility came under fire last year after receiving more than
two dozen serious citations from state regulators that dealt with
patient neglect and endangerment.

Information from: The Courier-Journal,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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