Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Announces Latest Long Island Arrests In Hidden Camera Investigation Of Abuse And Neglect At Medford Nursing Home

NEW YORK, NY (October 30, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest of four more employees at the Medford Multicare Center for Living in Medford, New York. Two of the arrests were made as part of the Attorney General’s continuing hidden-camera investigation into abuse and neglect at the Long Island nursing home. The investigation was announced earlier this month in Medford when four health care providers at the center were arrested for endangering a patient and falsifying his records to conceal neglect.

Two Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and two Certified Nurse’s Aides (CNA) from Medford Multicare were charged today with endangering the welfare of a patient and falsifying business records to conceal neglect. All complaints were filed in District Court in Central Islip.

The Long Island arrests this month are more in a series of charges brought against health care workers across New York who are caught on hidden cameras mistreating patients. Cuomo’s office is currently leading the nation in using hidden surveillance to investigate the abuse of patients at nursing homes. To date, his investigation across New York State has led to the conviction of 26 nursing home employees based on surveillance recordings.  In addition, one nursing home has been convicted and a nursing home owner has been sued civilly.

"Today's arrests highlight this office's ongoing effort to investigate and prosecute individuals who shamelessly mistreat Long Island's most vulnerable patients," said Attorney General Cuomo. "My office will continue to use innovative techniques, including surveillance cameras, to expose and bring to justice anyone jeopardizing those who cannot care for themselves. Let me be clear that this is an ongoing, expanding investigation and the charges brought today underscore my commitment to protect elderly patients at nursing homes across the state."

As part of the Attorney General’s hidden camera investigation at Medford Multicare, LPN Janet Coleman, 49, of Moriches, New York, is charged with five counts of falsifying business records in the first degree and six counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. Ms. Coleman allegedly falsified medical records to conceal the fact that she did not provide treatment to the resident’s gastrostomy tube site, nor did she treat the area behind his ears, where his oxygen tubing rested. She was also caught on video failing to intervene as a CNA transferred the resident out of his bed on her own, without the assistance of another caregiver, as required.

The CNA, Marie Pierre, 35, of Elmont, New York, is charged with eight counts of endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person for failing to provide basic standard care. She failed to perform Range of Motion exercises on the resident to prevent his muscles from contracting; she failed to turn and position him to prevent skin breakdown and pressure ulcers; and she failed to change his brief every two hours.

Ms. Pierre is also charged with two counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in complaints filed separate from the hidden-camera investigation. These charges allege that Ms. Pierre falsified records to conceal the fact that another CNA, Paulette George, had failed to shower or bathe a resident for weeks. Ms. George, 53, of Sayville, New York, is also being charged with falsifying business records to make it seem as though the resident was being bathed according to his showering schedule.

Finally, LPN Kim Purdum, 36, of South Beach, New York, was charged today with falsifying business records, in another case separate from the hidden-camera investigation. Ms. Purdum allegedly falsified a resident’s chart to conceal that she had not had the necessary blood tests to monitor dosage of a blood thinning medication, Coumadin. The lack of this routine testing and monitoring resulted in the resident suffering internal bleeding and extensive external bruising. When Medford finally did order the standard blood test, the patient’s levels were so grossly abnormal that she required an emergency injection of vitamin K and she was rushed to the emergency room and immediately admitted to the hospital for treatment.  As these events were unfolding, Ms. Purdum went back into the records and altered them to make it appear as if she had originally included the usual order, months earlier.

Earlier this month, Cuomo first announced his undercover video-surveillance investigation into Medford Multicare with the arrest of four employees who had been caught on tape neglecting a resident who required assistance with all activities of daily living. Attorney General Cuomo’s hidden-camera investigation in Medford is continuing and further arrests are anticipated.

These cases are part of MFCU’s on-going nursing home initiative and is being prosecuted by Veronica Bindrim-MacDevitt and James P. Clarke, Special Assistant Attorneys General, under the Supervision of Alan Buonpastore, Regional Director, Hauppauge Regional Office, assisted by Erik Podszus, Senior Special Investigator, Dawn Scandaliato, Special Investigator, Karen Patterson, RN, Confidential Medical Analyst, Margarte McArdle, Principal Special Audit Investigator and Joanna-Joy Volo, Associate Special Audit Investigator.

The charges against the defendants are only accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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