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Post date: July 17 2001

Nurse's Aide Arrested For Abusing Elderly Patient At Western New York Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of a certified nurse's aide for physically abusing an 86-year-old male patient at a Cheektowaga nursing home in January.

Viola Woods, 38, of 833 Prospect Avenue in Buffalo, was arraigned today in Cheektowaga Town Court before Judge Ronald E. Kmiotek. She was charged with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person and Wilful Violation of Health Laws. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison.

Woods, while employed as a nurse's aide at the Manor Oak Skilled Nursing Facility on January 23, physically abused the patient by shaking his face and smearing it with feces. The incident occurred while providing the patient with incontinent care.

"This kind of criminal behavior against our elderly and most vulnerable residents will not be tolerated," said Spitzer. "We are committed to vigorously prosecuting those who abuse the patients in their care."

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the administration of the facility for its assistance and cooperation during the investigation.

Manor Oak Skilled Nursing Facility is located at 3600 Harlem Road in Cheektowaga. Woods worked at the facility from December 2000 until her termination shortly after the incident.

Special Assistant Attorneys General Gary A. Baldauf and Toinette Randolph, of the Buffalo Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, are prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Woods are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.