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Post date: August 13 2007

Cuomo Announces Former Jennifer Matthew Aide Pleads Guilty For Neglecting Bedridden Patient

ALBANY, NY (August 13, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced another former aide at the now-defunct Jennifer Matthew Nursing and Rehabilitation Center pleaded guilty to neglecting a 70-year-old resident and falsifying the patient’s records to cover up her conduct.

Certified nurse assistant Tammy Devos, 43, of Lake Avenue in Rochester, admitted today before Monroe County Court Judge Alex Renzi that she failed to turn and reposition the resident every two hours during her shift, as required by the patient’s medical condition. She also falsely indicated she had provided this care and had regularly checked the patient for incontinence.

“We invest a great deal of trust - and taxpayer dollars - in those who care for nursing home residents,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “No one can afford patient neglect or abuse. Our office will continue to protect vulnerable patients and ensure Medicaid dollars go to quality patient care.”

This patient suffered from dementia and other ailments including decubitus ulcers, which required that the patient be turned frequently to prevent skin breakdown. Devos pleaded guilty to one count each of Willful Violation of Health Laws and Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, both misdemeanors. She was immediately sentenced to serve four months of work weekends at the Monroe County Jail.

As a result of the Attorney General’s investigation, Devos becomes the tenth former Jennifer Matthew Nursing and Rehabilitation Center employee to plead guilty to neglecting the same resident. The crimes were revealed by evidence taken from video cameras that were hidden in the patient’s room by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators. The cameras were hidden with the consent of the patient’s family.

A civil case against the primary owner and operator of the facility, Anthony Salerno, and his consulting company, Healthcare Associates, is still pending.

This case was prosecuted by Jerry Solomon, head of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rochester Regional Office, under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General Heidi Wendel, Head of MFCU. Supervising Investigator Neil Davis, Supervising Auditor-Investigator Heather Pustalka, Medical Analyst Tina Dentino, Senior Investigator Doug Hinchey, Special Senior Investigator William Falk, Special Investigator Art Vasile and contributed to the case.