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Post date: June 21 2001

Nurse And Aide Admit To Patient Mistreatment At Ontario County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Sandra Derby, a licensed practical nurse, and Jeffrey Welch, a nurse's aide, have admitted to mistreating elderly patients in their care at the Ontario County Nursing Home in Canandaigua.

Appearing on Tuesday night in Hopewell Town Court before Judge Margaret Hilton, Derby and Welch pleaded guilty to Wilful Violation of Health Laws. They were each immediately sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge and a $350 fine.

Spitzer said, "The defendants are guilty of forsaking their obligations as health care professionals to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. I hope these prosecutions get the message out that we will move swiftly and aggressively to prosecute those who mistreat patients entrusted to their care."

According to prosecutors, Derby withheld medication and treatment from three elderly female patients. In one instance, she failed to administer critical blood sugar tests to a 103-year-old diabetic patient. In all three cases, to conceal her neglect, Derby falsely indicated in the patients' charts that she had provided the treatment and tests.

Welch was charged with entering the room of a 76-year-old female patient, suffering from Post Polio Syndrome and congenital deformities, lifting the patient's nightgown, and kissing her on the stomach.

Derby, 27, lives at 3901 Allens Hill Road in Bloomfield. She has been a licensed practical nurse for eight years, and worked at the Ontario County Nursing Home, located at 3062 County Complex Drive in Canandaigua, from 1998 to October 2000.

Jeffrey Welch, 26, lives at 12 ? South Virginia Street in Waterloo. He was employed at the Ontario County Nursing Home for approximately three weeks.

Both defendants were arrested last month.

Spitzer noted that his office has referred the Derby matter to the State Education Department's Office of the Professions for a review of her nursing license.

Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy 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.