This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Laurie Ann Dornquast,
Commissioner of Health,
Filed August 9, 2005
Department of Health
Appleton Municipal Hospital ID 00655
Laurie Ann Dornquast, P.O. Box 104, Alberta, MN 56207 (pro se relator)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Jocelyn F. Olson, Assistant Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1200, St. Paul, MN 55101-2130 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Forsberg, Judge.*
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator Laurie Ann Dornquast challenges the decision of the Commissioner of Health denying her request to set aside her disqualification from positions requiring her to provide direct care in facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
This court reviews whether an
administrative decision is supported by substantial evidence or arbitrary and
capricious. In re Excess Surplus Status of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of
An individual who has been
disqualified from performing direct care services in facilities licensed by the
Department of Health may request that the Commissioner of Health (Commissioner)
reconsider the disqualification.
Under Minn. Stat. § 245C.22, subd. 4(b), in evaluating whether the individual poses a risk of harm, the Commissioner must consider the following factors:
(1)the nature, severity, and consequences of the event or events that led to the disqualification;
(2)whether there is more than one disqualifying event;
(3)the age and vulnerability of the victim at the time of the event;
(4)the harm suffered by the victim;
(5)the similarity between the victim and persons served by the program;
(6)the time elapsed without a repeat of a same or similar event;
(7)documentation of successful completion by the individual studied of training or rehabilitation pertinent to the event; and
(8)any other information relevant to reconsideration.
Moreover, “any single factor under subdivision 4, paragraph (b), may be determinative of the commissioner’s decision whether to set aside the individual’s disqualification.” Id., subd. 3.
The Commissioner properly considered the statutory criteria in determining that relator posed a risk of harm. The Commissioner found relator’s mistreatment of her children to be intentional and likely resulting in harm. And the victims, relator’s children, were young and “[v]ery vulnerable” and suffered some damage from relator’s mistreatment. The population relator served was similarly vulnerable. Finally, relator’s disqualifying event was recent.
In seeking reconsideration of her disqualification, relator had the burden to establish that she posed no risk of harm to any person in her care at the licensed facility. Relator submitted letters from her supervisor at the nursing home and her probation officer, which noted that relator was competent, met her duties, and complied with conditions for probation. And relator asserted that she was placed on probation on August 15, 2003, under a stay of adjudication and complied with all conditions of probation.
But the Commissioner based relator’s disqualification on evidence that relator failed to comply with a county plan to return her children to her after they were placed in foster care. And relator’s parental rights were terminated approximately nine months before relator’s disqualification because she neglected to care for her children’s needs, she was “palpably unfit” to parent, the county’s reasonable efforts failed to correct the conditions leading to her children’s placement from the home, and the children were neglected and in foster care.
In light of the statutory factors the Commissioner must consider, we conclude that substantial evidence supports the Commissioner’s decision that relator did pose a risk of harm to persons in her care under Minn. Stat. § 245C.22, subd. 4. Therefore, we affirm the Commissioner’s decision not to set aside relator’s disqualification.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.