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HomenewsInstitution for the Elderly New Jersey's Unsafe Veterans Home Draws a SWAT...

Institution for the Elderly New Jersey’s Unsafe Veterans Home Draws a SWAT Team’s Attention.

The administration of Gov. Phil Murphy sent a team of long-term care professionals to the Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park on Tuesday to help remedy abuse and safety breaches that put patients in “immediate peril.”

A nursing consultant and administrator with experience running long-term care institutions have arrived at the Edison campus. An infection control preventionist is anticipated next week.
CMS told the Murphy administration a week ago that it may withhold new admissions funds until major failures in pandemic infection control and resident care are corrected.

CMS stated Tuesday the issue is being reviewed.
Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park is not in meaningful compliance, according to a CMS representative.

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Federal officials warned of fines and other consequences.

Brig. Gen. Lisa J. Hou, New Jersey’s Adjutant General and Commissioner of Military and Veterans Affairs requested help.

“I requested the team to improve the quality of care for our residents, assess staff operations, and renew our dedication to the Veterans in our care,” Hou stated.

State health inspectors detected concerns at the 312-bed nursing home for veterans and their families in August and September. According to the inspection report, inappropriate care and abuse put several residents in “immediate peril.”

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A nurse who didn’t know how to remove a Foley catheter snipped it with scissors. The resident had to be brought to the ER to remove the urine-draining tube and subsequently to a hospital for a UTI.

When a CNA with experience in the technique was asked why she didn’t speak up, she reportedly said, “She’s an RN.” Inspectors: “She should know.”
The RN was suspended and fired.

Another person who frequently called for his prescription was allegedly emotionally and physically abused by a nurse and an aide.

Inspectors said the hospital didn’t do contact tracing to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that began last Thanksgiving. Menlo Park was cited for failing to test exposed personnel and follow federal, state, and infection control rules.

“The Department deployed this team to cooperate with leaders and personnel to improve and sustain the quality of care,” Persichilli added.

“The team has begun assessing and working with onsite workers to make changes.
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Menlo Park inhabitants’ care and safety are a priority.

Menlo Park and Paramus had some of the highest COVID-related fatality tolls in the country. Vineland houses the third state-run plant.
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COVID killed more than 200 patients and personnel in all three facilities, according to the state, but an attorney for hundreds of families who sued the state says the number may be over 240.

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According to the state Health Department’s COVID data dashboard, the coronavirus has killed 9,813 long-term care residents and employees.

Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, and Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, introduced legislation creating “Mission Critical Long-Term Care Teams” in June, although Persichilli had already begun forming the teams.

According to the bill, they will advise and collaborate to fix financial and operational difficulties “with a focus on resident health and safety” (S2894). Nursing facilities might seek help, or the state can send a team.

Vitale and a group of central Jersey politicians felt the team’s engagement was needed.
“We appreciate the deployment of a special ‘Mission Critical Team’ to the Menlo Park Veterans Home to help fix health and safety problems.

It highlights the need for institutional reforms to improve treatment at Menlo Park and other state-run institutions for veterans, according to Sens. Vitale, Joseph Cryan, D-Union, Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, Joe Lagana, D-Bergen, and Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex.

“We must design a careful and complete plan to care for residents, their families, and caregivers.

” We believe comprehensive, irreversible changes are needed so veterans receive the finest treatment, regardless of cost,” they said.

The entire Republican contingent of the state Senate addressed a letter to Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, requesting public hearings “to investigate persistent failings at State-run veterans institutions.”

Recent reports have shown that fresh outbreaks have led to preventable deaths, the 16 Republicans wrote. Our veteran’s homes could lose essential Medicare and Medicaid funds. The Legislature has done little to increase veterans’ home safeguards, and it hasn’t worked.

The state operates veterans’ residences in Edison, Paramus, and Vineland.


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