Nurse Who Was Arrested Twice For Patient Neglect At Area Nursing Homes Admits Guilt
Attorney General Spitzer today announced that June Allen, a licensed practical nurse formerly employed at two nursing homes, has pleaded guilty to charges that she withheld medication and treatment from patients, and then falsified their medical charts to cover up her neglect.
"In less than a year, Allen was arrested not once but twice by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for denying crucial medication and treatment to elderly patients entrusted to her care," said Spitzer. "Shortly after being fired from an Ontario County nursing home for neglecting patients there, Allen simply crossed the county line and took a similar position at a Rochester facility, where she did the same thing. It is obvious, based on her actions, that the defendant should never again work with patients in a health care setting."
Appearing today in Rochester City Court before Judge Roy E. King, Allen pleaded guilty to Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree for failing to change, on three consecutive days, the wound dressing on the foot of an 84-year-old female diabetic patient at the Episcopal Church Home in Rochester. The patient had a physician's order for a dressing to be applied for an open abrasion. A diabetic with such an open sore and infection is at an increased risk for severely damaging and possibly losing the foot.
Allen was immediately sentenced to a conditional discharge.
Yesterday, Allen entered a similar plea of guilty to Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree before Canandaigua City Court Judge Steven D. Aronson. She was immediately sentenced to three years' probation, fined $250, and ordered to perform fifty hours of community service.
The plea was in satisfaction of charges that, while working at the Elm Manor Nursing Home in Canandaigua on February 21, 2000, Allen failed to administer a prescribed pneumonia vaccine to an 87-year-old patient suffering from Parkinson's disease. The following day, Allen failed to change a nitroglycerin patch on the arm of a 78-year-old patient with coronary heart disease. The patch, which dilates the arteries to improve coronary blood flow, must be changed each day.
Allen was also charged in that case with neglecting a 76-year-old patient suffering from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by failing to give the patient, on eight separate occasions, her prescribed medications. The patient had been ordered by her physician to receive a combivent inhaler (to open her airway) four times a day, and a steroid inhaler (medication) twice a day.
To conceal her crimes in both cases, Allen falsely wrote on the patients' medical charts that she had provided the medications and treatments.
Spitzer noted that his office has referred the matter to the State Education Department's Office of the Professions for a review of Allen's nursing license.
Allen, 40, of 484 Benson Road in Victor, worked at the Elm Manor Nursing Home, located at 210 North Main Street in Canandaigua, from March 1998 to April 2000, and at the Episcopal Church Home, located at 505 Mt. Hope Avenue in Rochester, from June 2000 to October 2000.
Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy J. McFarland, of the Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted both cases. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.