This series of articles was recognized by the Kentucky Press Association in 2006. The series of articles won 3rd Place for Best Investigative Series in the Daily Class 2 category.
Complaint triggers state investigation
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER – THE INDEPENDENT | Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2006 11:19 pm
The state Office of the Inspector General has opened a preliminary investigation into a complaint involving an Ashland personal care home stemming from an incident last month.
Jenny Mitchell, director of the state’s Division of Health Care Facilities and Services, confirmed Friday that her office had begun investigation of a complaint about Artrip Health Care Inc. at 3000 Central Ave. HCFS is a division of the Inspector General’s Office within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
“At this point in time, we’re just in the beginning stages of the investigation and we have no information to record,” she said.
On May 26, between 7 and 7:30 p.m., a 25-year-old woman identified in police reports as Brandy Delong allegedly walked out of the home, and, according to witnesses, traveled down Bath Avenue, where she began throwing rocks and other objects at cars and through the window of one home before fleeing.
Ashland Police Patrol Capt. Todd Kelley said Delong was taken into custody by police around the 3400 block of Winchester Avenue on the Shoney’s side of the street and was taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where she was kept for evaluation. She was later transferred to another in-state hospital.
Kelley said there was no indication that the home reported the woman missing. Instead, police were alerted to the incident by 911 phone calls from Bath Avenue residents.
According to an incomplete incident report obtained from the APD, five residents of the 3100 and 3200 blocks of Bath Avenue reported damage to their vehicles, and one to their home. Police estimated that there was nearly $2,000 in damage.
Betty Delong of Paintsville said her daughter, Brandy, is moderately mentally retarded, has bipolar disorder and requires constant care. She had been transferred to the home from another facility in eastern Kentucky about four hours before she walked out, according to the mother.
Artrip’s, however, is disputing that Brandy Delong was a patient when the incident occurred. According to Betty Delong and several residents, the home is also claiming it has no responsibility to pay for the damages.
“The matter is, she wasn’t our client right then,” said Maggie Artrip, the facility’s administrator, who declined to answer further questions on the incident, referring them instead to her attorney, Jeff Hensley.
Hensley said he was not familiar enough with the situation to comment, but did say Friday that he was aware that an investigation had been opened.
Betty Delong insisted her daughter was a patient at Artrip’s and said she believes the home should be held responsible.
“I entrusted them to take care of her and all this happened. She could have gotten killed,” the mother said. “I am very upset that this could happen. I understand they didn’t even know she was gone for a long time. It is terrible that they let something like this happen. I thought she was safe and everything.”
Betty Delong said she plans to pursue criminal neglect charges against the home in addition to filing the complaint with the OIG.
“I think people need to know,” she said. “This facility is neglectful. (Brandy) could have got killed or someone else could have gotten killed, with her not meaning to do that.”
In addition, Betty Delong said she believed Artrip violated her and her daughter’s privacy by giving out their personal information to the Bath Avenue residents who inquired about the incident.
Betty Delong said she is still not certain what caused her daughter to leave the facility and what happened once she did.
“(Artrip’s) will not give me a clear answer what happened … I don’t even know the whole details of this. I don’t really know everything,” she said.
Residents on Bath Avenue have questions of their own. Many still have not had their property repaired or have paid repair expenses themselves and are awaiting reimbursement.
“How did she get out?” asked Heather Porter, whose Chevrolet Malibu sustained damage. “What if she had gotten out during the day time when children are outside … the woman could have gotten hurt or she could have hurt the children.
Jimmy Dixon of Bowling Green, Ohio, who was visiting his parents Curt and Bernice Dixon, who live in the 3100 block of Bath, agreed.
“This could have escalated to a situation that was more than a brick-throwing,” he said.
According to Curt Dixon, a large rock was thrown through his living room window just minutes after his family, including a young granddaughter, walked into a different room.
“Ordinarily, we would have been in here and my granddaughter would have been playing on the floor,” Curt Dixon said, adding he suffers from a heart condition and could have been startled into a heart attack.
Porter said she plans to pursue some type of action or complaint against Artrip’s as well.
It is still unclear if any charges will be filed against Brandy Delong. The case was reviewed by Boyd County Attorney Phillip Hedrick but he referred it to Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney J. Stewart Schneider because the amount of damage could constitute a felony.
Schneider declined to comment because he had not reviewed the case yet.
Care home cited, fined
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER | Posted: Friday, July 21, 2006 10:58 pm
An Ashland personal care home has been issued a citation by the Office of the Inspector General as a result of a state investigation.
According to Beth Crace, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, Artrip Health Care Inc. at 3000 Central Ave., was issued a type A citation Friday afternoon.
A type A citation is the most serious form of citation a personal care home can receive and carries a mandatory fine, according to Deputy Inspector General Steven Davis. He said a type A citation is issued when it is believed that a facility’s actions could have resulted in the imminent danger or death of a resident.
The citation is the first information released publicly regarding the results of the investigation initiated by a complaint from the mother of a 25-year-old woman who allegedly walked out of the facility in May, just hours after she was transported there from a state hospital.
According to witnesses, the woman, identified through police reports as Brandy Delong, traveled down Bath Avenue, throwing rocks and other objects at cars and through the window of one home before fleeing.
Later, Ashland police picked up Delong on Winchester Avenue near Shoney’s and transported her to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where she was kept for an evaluation. Delong was then transferred to another in-state facility, where she remains.
According to police reports, Delong caused more than $2,000 in property damage to the cars and five residences on Bath Avenue.
Maggie Artrip, the facility’s administrator, has claimed no responsibility for the damages and has refused to reimburse at least one resident, claiming Delong had not yet been admitted to the facility when she walked out.
The state, however, feels differently.
Crace said Artrip was cited for “admitting a resident to a personal care home when a higher level of care was needed” and “for failing to follow admission protocol by evaluating the resident and reviewing the resident’s history prior to admission.”
Crace said the amount Artrip will be fined has not yet been determined. She added the facility will also have to file a plan of correction with the Cabinet, who will then decide if it is acceptable or not.
“I don’t agree with it,” said Maggie Artrip, but added the facility would “be taking care of it.”
“We feel like we’re not at fault. The hospital (that transferred Delong) didn’t give us proper information and didn’t even call us to tell us anything,” she said.
The woman’s mother, Betty Delong, of Paintsville, said Friday, she did not know yet if she was satisfied by the OIG’s investigation.
She said she plans to take legal action of her own against the facility for what she believes was neglect.
“They put my daughter’s life in danger and I am filing a lawsuit,” she said. “She could have got killed.
“I think (Artrip) needs to be closed down. I think there need to be some criminal investigations. I think Ms. Artrip needs to come to justice. She needs to be accountable for what has happened.”
Jimmy Dixon, of Toledo, Ohio, whose elderly parents home and cars were damaged, is looking for accountability as well. Two months after the incident, his parents have still not been reimbursed for a living room window that was broken and they have not been able to repair the damages to their cars. Artrip and her attorney have also not returned repeated phone calls, he said.
“It’s wrong to treat people this way,” Dixon said, adding he would do “whatever I’ve got to do” to get the matter resolved.
“I think Artrip is responsible,” he said. “I know they are. … Somebody needs to be mature about this. If they are going to have a business, they need to be liable for what they are doing.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney J. Stewart Schneider and County Attorney Philip Hedrick both said Friday they have no plans to pursue any criminal charges against Brandy Delong for the property damage. Both said they believed she was not competent to stand trial.
Artrip faces more hot water
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER | Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2006 11:34 pm
An Ashland personal care facility, which was cited last month by the state, has been found to have several other regulatory deficiencies as a result of that investigation.
In a report made public this week by the Office of the Inspector General, Artrip Health Care Inc., at 3000 Central Ave, was found to be deficient in both patient’s rights and administration and operation requirements.
Beth Crace, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, said an additional statement of deficiency will be released soon in connection with the investigation regarding medication found to be missing from the facility.
There are no other investigations pending against Artrip at this time, she said.
The investigation, which began in June and was completed last month, was initiated by a complaint from the mother of a 25-year-old woman who allegedly walked out of the facility May 25 and caused thousands of dollars in property damage by throwing rocks at cars and homes along Bath Avenue.
The woman was eventually picked up by police at Shoney’s and transported to King’s Daughters Medical Center where she was kept for a psychiatric evaluation before being transferred to another state hospital.
Through police reports, the woman was identified as Brandy Delong of Paintsville. According to the report, Artrip did not follow the proper admission process when they admitted Delong.
“The facility failed to ensure that the resident’s care needs did not exceed the facility’s capabilities prior to accepting the resident for admission,” the report stated.
These findings echoed the reasoning behind the state’s issuance of a Type A citation in July. Artrip was cited for “admitting a resident to a personal care home when a higher level of care was needed” and “for failing to follow admission protocol by evaluating the resident and reviewing the resident’s history prior to admission.”
A Type A citation is issued when it is determined that a facility failed to ensure a resident’s safety and therefore presented an imminent danger and a substantial risk of harm or death to a resident. A citation carries a mandatory fine.
Crace said the amount of the fine has still not been determined. The Cabinet, she said, is still waiting on a response from the facility.
The report said in an interview with the facility’s administrator and owner, Maggie Artrip, and Lynette Riffe, the assistant administrator, “revealed the typical admission screening and assessment process included going to the facility, meeting the resident, reviewing the resident’s chart for care needs and behaviors; then deciding if the resident could be adequately supervised and was appropriate for admission to the personal care home.”
Artrip, according to the report, said Riffe “always went to the prior placement and followed the protocol for new admissions” but did not travel to the prior placement in this instance because the hospital Delong was transferred from — Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center — “was so far.”
Artrip also claimed that the facility did not receive the entire history from the hospital or Delong’s mother before they agreed to admit her and, if they had known her history, would not have admitted her
The report also stated that information sent with Delong, “which the facility failed to review until after the incident,” revealed “a long history of explosive behaviors and failed placements” in addition to her official diagnosis and other medical history.
In addition, the investigation also found that the home did not have enough staff on duty at the time of the incident.
According to the report, only one staff member was on duty when Delong left the facility — the other was taking a break at her home two doors down the street. The home is required to have two staff on duty at all times.
The report went on to say that when Delong left the facility, she was followed by that staff member, which left the facility unattended. Another resident was sent to the second staff member’s home to alert her of the incident. That resident continued to follow Delong until she was picked up by police.
Artrip, the report stated, said at least two staff are scheduled at all times and that all staff was made aware of the policy at an in-service in January. She stated she did not know staff members were taking their breaks off facility grounds, leaving one staff member at the facility
The third regulatory violation detailed in the report stated that the facility violated the patient’s rights when the staff released the name and telephone number of Delong’s mother, Betty Delong, of Paintsville, to victims of the vandalism.
According to the report, Artrip said she did instruct her staff to give out the information and that she called Betty Delong “and asked her to help pay for the property damage and informed her that the facility was going to give out her name and number to the victims …”
Betty Delong has pledged to press charges against the facility for what she believes to be neglect and for a violation of her privacy rights. Friday she said she had hired a Louisville attorney to take on the case.
“I am happy with the OIG’s investigation,” she said. “I think they pretty much substantiated my claims.”
She said Artrip was aware of her daughter’s complete diagnosis and history and agreed to accept her to the facility.
“They knew exactly what they were getting themselves into. I told them. I would never put Brandy there if I didn’t think they would take good care of her,” she said. “They’re lying. Maggie Artrip knew Brandy’s situation. They knew everything about Brandy because I wanted to put her in a place where they would take care of her.”
She said staff also gave out her personal information before Maggie Artrip called to inform her of the incident
In addition to the Delongs, Artrip and Riffe, three other staff members, and the resident who followed Brandy Delong, were interviewed during the investigation along with a social worker at Hazard ARH.
Crace said Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center will also receive a statement of deficiency in relation to the investigation at Artrip.
She said the statement of deficiencies is pending because it must first be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Facilities have 10 days to respond to a statement of deficiencies with a plan of corrections, which must then be approved, Crace said. She said that plan had not yet been received from the facility and it was expected any day.
Maggie Artrip did not return phone calls requesting comment about the report.
Three other separate investigations at Artrip — concluded in February, March and April of 2006, all stemming from complaints against the facility — found no deficiencies.
Personal care home has troubled history
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER | Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2006 11:36 pm
The regulatory deficiencies found during a state investigation in July of the Artrip Personal Care Home, 3000 Central Ave., are not the facility’s only documented problems in recent years.
A public information request made by The Independent to the Cabinet of Health and Family Services revealed the facility has been found to be in violation of state regulations on numerous occasions during the last three years.
Deficiencies included: Failing to follow admissions standards, being inadequately staffed, missing proof of required staff background checks and for violating a variety of patients rights, among other violations.
A June 2003 relicensure survey resulted in a Type A citation and fine against the facility.
A Type A citation is the most serious form of citation a personal care home can receive and carries a mandatory fine. It is issued when it is determined that a facility failed to ensure residents safety and therefore presented an imminent danger and a substantial risk of harm or death to residents.
The citation resulting from a visit June 26, 2003, stated that the facility “failed to protect residents in the personal care home by readmitting a resident with active tuberculosis.” The facility, it said, also “failed to ensure that the resident’s care needs did not exceed the facilities capability.”
During the investigation it was also found that the home was not meeting multiple provision of care standards and mechanical requirements.
Artrip was also found to be in violation of patient rights requirements regarding a patient’s personal finances.
Investigations in October and February of 2003 revealed no deficiencies.
A December 2004 investigation prompted by a complaint found the facility was not ensuring patients rights because some residents were being treated differently than others.
A 2004 November investigation prompted by a complaint found the facility did not have enough staff on duty at the time of the visit by an investigator.
According to that report, issued Nov. 23, 2004, the facility is required to have one staff member on each floor in the facility at all times.
The facility’s assistant administrator stated on the plan of correction that the facility was disputing the deficiency, claiming they had a waiver due to cameras being present on the upper floor of the facility.
A November 2004 investigation uncovered no deficiencies.
An August 2004 relicensure survey had also revealed several deficiencies related to staff and training requirements.
According to the statement of deficiencies issued to the home on Aug. 31, 2004, a record review of five personnel records indicated that four out of five staff did not show evidence that nurse aide abuse registry checks had been completed.
It was also found that the facility was not meeting the requirements for in-service training.
A September 2005 investigation, which also corresponded to the facilities relicensure survey, also found several violations.
According to the report, which was concluded on Oct. 27, 2005, the initial tour of the facility on Oct. 25 again revealed only one staff person on duty, who was “preparing the noon meal” at the time of the visit.
“A review of the facility staffing schedule confirmed that there was only one staff member assigned to each shift,” the report stated.
A review of three personnel files during the investigation also again showed there was “no evidence that the results of the nurse aide abuse registry and criminal background check were completed,” for any of the three employees. A further interview with the Assistant Administrator “indicated the background checks were not completed for current employees,” the report said.
In-service requirements were also not being met, the report found. Record reviews showed employees received in-service training in just four of 12 required areas.
During that same investigation the facility was found to be in violation of other regulatory requirements including several in the area of patient’s rights.
The report stated for one deficiency, “there was no evidence that the individual care needs were being addressed and no evidence that the family or responsible parties were involved in the planning of the residents care.”
According to the report, the facility also failed to ensure all residents were tested for tuberculosis within three months of admission to the facility and a patient’s record review revealed there were no records of admission medical evaluations in the case of six of the home’s 13 residents.
A November 2005 investigation revealed no deficiencies.
Investigations in April, March, and February of 2006 also revealed no deficiencies.
All investigations were completed by the Office of the Inspector General, which is the state survey agency that oversees health care facilities and services with in the Cabinet of Health and Family Services.
Beth Crace, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, said facilities are surveyed annually for relicensing purposes and are also investigated whenever a complaint is made against the facility.
“All OIG investigations are done on a by cases by case basis, whenever there is a problem spotted they have to correct it,” she said.
When a facility is issued a statement of deficiency, for violations found during an investigation it has 10 days to issue a statement of corrections, outlining specifically how the violations will be fixed and prevented in the future. The correction statements are then subject to cabinet approval.
Crace said there is no specific criteria for closing a facility.
Two Artrip employees facing criminal neglect
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER — The Independent | Posted: Monday, September 25, 2006 11:45 pm
Two female employees of an Ashland personal care home are facing criminal neglect charges after authorities were called out to search for a resident Saturday night.
Samantha Prince, 20, and Marissa White, 26, both of Ashland and employees of the Artrip Personal Care Home were cited into Boyd District Court for reckless neglect of an adult by a caretaker, according to information provided by the Ashland Police Department.
Elmer Woodrum, 62, a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, was reported by Artrip’s staff as having walked away from the facility in the 3000 block of Central Avenue about 9 p.m. Saturday, prompting a search by the APD, Ashland Fire Department, Catlettsburg Police Department, Boyd County Sheriff’s Office and Ashland Catlettsburg Boyd County Office of Emergency Management.
Greg Shields, the Catlettsburg attorney representing the facility’s owners, Mitchell and Maggie Artrip, answered questions for the couple Monday. Shields said the Artrips feel the staff members were unfairly cited for doing what they thought was appropriate given the situation.
Shields said Woodrum has been a resident of the home “for quite some time.”
“He doesn’t have a guardian and he’s not restricted in his abilities to come and go,” Shields said.
In fact, in the prior week, Woodrum left the facility an average of two to three times per day but had never been out after dark. Shields said the staff was aware when Woodrum left the facility and when he did not return as usual alerted police. Woodrum returned to the facility on his own at approximately 4 a.m. and no follow-up care was needed, Shields said.
Shields said Woodrum had been to his personal physician the Friday before the incident and there was “no indication he needed a higher level of care.”
Ashland Police Chief Rob Ratliff said the decision to cite the employees was made based in part on past occurrences, including one in May, where a woman walked out of the facility and caused thousands of dollars in property damage before being picked up by police and transported to an Ashland hospital.
The Artrips received a state citation in July as a result of a state investigation launched after that incident, which they are disputing in a hearing Thursday in Frankfort. The Artrips claim the woman was never admitted as a patient to the facility.
“We’ve had so many reports over the years (of residents walking out) they are going to have to do something to provide adequate staffing to ensure those things don’t happen in the future,” Ratliff said. “We just want to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do. We can’t have these kind of people out there wandering around and I don’t think they can afford to allow that to happen.”
Ratliff said he expects and hopes the state will step in and take some type of action.
Beth Crace, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, said the facility had not yet reported the event. She said the Cabinet was in the process of notifying the eastern enforcement branch of the Office of the Inspector General and that a state investigation will be initiated.
Crace said the home is required to report these incidents by law. The OIG will follow up to see if the facility was in compliance with its regulations at the time of the incident. The OIG looks for facility culpability when investigating such incidents, Crace said.
“The outcome depends on the findings of the investigation. If there are deficiencies, a facility has to be brought into compliance,” she said.
Further action depends on the severity of deficiencies. If a deficiency rises to the level of what is referred to as an immediate jeopardy, which is categorized as posing an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents a citation could be issued. Citations carry mandatory fines.
Artrips to appeal state’s citation
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER — The Independent | Posted: Saturday, August 26, 2006 11:48 pm
The owners of an Ashland personal care home plan to appeal a citation issued by the state as a result of a recent investigation.
Mitchell and Maggie Artrip, owners of Artrip Personal Care Home, Inc., 3000 Central Ave., have appealed the Type A citation issued in July against the home by the Office of the Inspector General.
According to Beth Crace, a cabinet of health and family services spokeswoman, an appeal hearing has been set for Sept. 28. A fine of $1,000 has been recommended, she said.
A Type A citation is the most serious form of citation a personal care home can receive and carries a mandatory fine. It is issued when it is determined that a facility failed to ensure the safety of residents and therefore presented an imminent danger and a substantial risk of harm or death.
The home was cited in July for “admitting a resident to a personal care home when a higher level of care was needed” and “for failing to follow admission protocol by evaluating the resident and reviewing the resident’s history prior to admission.”
The state issued the citation, along with several other statements of regulatory deficiencies, as the result of an investigation launched by a complaint from the mother of a 25-year-old woman who allegedly walked out of the facility May 25. The woman, identified as Brandy Delong through police reports, caused thousands of dollars in property damage by throwing rocks at cars and homes along Bath Avenue.
The Artrips, however, claim Delong was never admitted as a patient and was improperly transmitted to the home, according to the plan of correction submitted in response to the investigation.
“From the home’s point of view she was never a resident,” said Greg Shields, the couple’s attorney. “The admissions were never filed. Had they known what was in her file they would have never admitted her,” he said.
“If we had known her true diagnosis there is no way we would have put our residents, staff and the community in that situation,” Maggie Artrip said.
In fact, the Artrips say they are the victim of the incident. They claim neither Betty Delong nor Hazard ARH — the facility Brandy Delong was transferred from — provided them with the complete information, including Brandy Delong’s diagnosis, and that she was transferred to the facility without the facility’s permission.
Maggie Artrip said the facility was contacted by both Delong’s mother, Betty Delong, and a social worker at Hazard ARH and informed both of the requirements for admission.
Although some information was sent to the home, the complete information was never received, Maggie Artrip said, “The last thing we heard she wasn’t coming.”
According to the Artrips, Brandy Delong was transported to the facility late in the afternoon May 25 and left with her belongings and a sealed envelope containing her medical history and diagnosis.
Mitchell Artrip said the home’s staff tried several times to stop the staff that transported her to no avail and was trying to figure out what to do with Brandy Delong when the incident occurred.
Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center has also been issued a statement of deficiency in relation to the investigation at the Artrip Home.
Despite their claim denying any wrongdoing in the incident, the facility is complying with the state’s requests and have issued plans of correction, Shields said.
“Our position with the state is regardless of what happened we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “The home is very disappointed that this all happened.”
Last week the state released the home’s detailed plans of correction, required when a home is found to have regulatory deficiencies. The plans included updated admissions and patient’s rights procedures and policies.
The state has also released an additional statement of deficiency against the home in connection to some of Delong’s medication being misplaced.
According to the state report, the facility’s process is to send discharged residents medication to a pharmacy or to a pharmaceutical company to be destroyed if it’s a controlled substance. A review of the records found the facility did send Delong’s medication but that 14 pills of a controlled substance were unaccounted for.
The Artrips said they filed a complaint with the Ashland Police Department about the missing medication and are cooperating with them in an investigation.
Acting Ashland Police Chief Rob Ratliff could not confirm Friday if there was an active investigation into the issue.
A staff member who was employed during the incident and had access to the medications is also no longer an employee of the facility, according to Shields and the Artrips.
“The leaving of the staff member goes a long way to correcting the problems,” Shields said.
The state also released the Artrips required updated policy on procedures for the handling of discontinued and controlled medications.
“Our home runs pretty smooth on a day to day basis,” said Mitchell Artrip, adding the Delong incident “was plum off the wall.”
He said the home is taking steps to reassure the community of the quality of the home and strive to be the best home in the area.
“I’ve tried to go beyond. The state knows I’ve tried to go beyond. At that time when we had eight superior ratings they knew we were the best in the area.”
The best in the area, he said, is what they plan to be again.
Artrips decide against appeal
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER — The Independent | Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:31 pm
The owners of an Ashland personal care home cited by state investigators withdrew their appeal Thursday, hours before a hearing was set in Frankfort.
Mitchell and Maggie Artrip, owners of Artrip Personal Care Home, Inc., 3000 Central Ave., had planned to appeal the Type A citation, which was levied against the home in July by the Office of the Inspector General and carried a $1,000 fine.
The couple’s attorney, Greg Shields, said the decision was made late Wednesday to forego the appeal and accept the fine. He said the Artrips decided the inconvenience and cost of having to subpoena staff and witnesses to Frankfort did not seem worthwhile for a $1,000 fine or a productive use of the Cabinet official’s time.
Beth Crace, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, said it is not unusual for a facility to decide not to pursue an appeal.
The citation, along with several other statements of regulatory deficiencies, were the result of a state investigation launched by a complaint from the mother of a 25-year-old woman who walked out of the facility May 25. The woman, identified as Brandy Delong through police reports, caused thousands of dollars in property damage by throwing rocks at cars and homes along Bath Avenue before being picked up by police.
The home was cited for “admitting a resident to a personal care home when a higher level of care was needed” and “for failing to follow admission protocol by evaluating the resident and reviewing the resident’s history prior to admission.”
A Type A citation is issued when it is determined that a facility failed to ensure the safety of residents and therefore presented an imminent danger and a substantial risk of harm or death. It is the most serious form of citation a personal care home can receive and carries a mandatory fine.
The Artrips, however, have argued that Delong was never admitted as a patient and was improperly transmitted to the home. They have also refused to pay for the damages to Bath Avenue residents property.
Betty Delong, Brandy Delong’s mother, said she was surprised the Artrips decided to forego the appeal but added, “I think they did the right thing. I think they realized that they wouldn’t be able to beat the decision.”
“All along it was plain she was a client there and they should take responsibility,” Betty Delong said.
She said she also felt the home should have been assessed a larger fine for putting her daughter in danger.
Shields, however, said the Artrips decision to drop their appeal does not mean they are changing their position that Brandy Delong had been improperly transported to the home and was not admitted when the incident occurred.
“We were not going to resolve that (issue) in an administrative hearing in Frankfort,” Shields said.
He said the Artrips have acknowledged and corrected the regulatory deficiencies and want to move on and leave the incident in the past.
“My clients just want to get back about the business of running a personal care home,” Shields said. “We’re prepared to pay the fine that the state has imposed and go on with a positive relationship with the state.”
Artrip workers arraigned for neglect
By CARRIE KIRSCHNER – The Independent | Posted: Saturday, October 14, 2006 12:16 am
Two Ashland personal care home employees charged with neglect were arraigned in Boyd District Court on Friday.
Samantha Prince, 20, and Marissa White, 26, both employees of Artrip Personal Care Home, 3000 Central Ave., were cited into district court for reckless neglect of an adult by a caretaker after a resident was reported missing from the facility.
Last month, a 62-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia prompted a search by the Ashland Police Department, Ashland Fire Department, Catlettsburg Police Department, Boyd County Sheriff’s Office and Ashland Catlettsburg Boyd County Office of Emergency Management, after he left the facility and did not return for some time. The man, however, did return to the facility several hours later on his own and unharmed.
Greg Shields, attorney for owners Mitch and Maggie Artrip, is representing the employees. He entered a not guilty plea Friday for both women neither of whom was present for the arraignment. A pretrial date was set for Nov. 6.
Shields said he hopes to have the matter resolved before the pretrial date.
He said the Artrips feel the staff members were unfairly cited for doing what they thought was appropriate given the situation. “We did not feel he was a risk. He was free to come and go as he chooses,” he said.
He added the Artrips hope to work with the APD to create a policy to better handle similar incidents.