Troubles Persist At New Jersey Institution
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 30, 2003
WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY--Woodbridge Developmental Center, an institution that houses 522 people with developmental disabilities, is being threatened with losing $37 million in federal money following the choking death of a 42-year-old resident last month.
Michael Weiss died the day after Christmas when he choked on several large chunks of bread in an unlocked kitchen area at the "cottage" which he shared with 31 other people. Weiss, who had a condition that caused him to eat uncontrollably, was supposed to be closely monitored at the time.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services, which inspects institutions in the state on behalf of the federal government, recommended that the facility be placed in a "condition of immediate jeopardy". On January 17, the facility was given 23 days to correct its staffing ratio and training or lose federal Medicaid funding.
The citation is the latest in a series of problems that point to unsafe conditions at Woodbridge. Last year, four workers were suspended without pay for falsifying night records following a resident's death in April. In a separate incident, a nurse is facing disciplinary action for neglect of duty in the death of another resident last January.