Four Oakwood Employees Charged With Neglect In Deaths
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 23, 2005
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY--Four Communities at Oakwood employees were being held in jail Wednesday, charged with neglect related to separate deaths last year of two institution residents.
A Pulaski County grand jury indicted and charged Everett McGowan, a 53-year-old team leader, and Lydia Eldridge, a 44-year-old patient aid, with one count each of wanton neglect.
An investigation by Attorney General Greg Stumbo's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division stated that the unnamed resident, who had a history of epileptic seizures, was left alone in the bathtub for about 90 minutes before he was found.
Additionally, Rita Bond, 42, also a team leader, and Elgean Daulton, 61, a patient aid, were each indicted for one count of wanton neglect of an adult for allowing another resident to repeatedly cut himself with a razor blade to the point that he required medical treatment in April, 2004.
If convicted, each faces up to five years in prison.
According to the Associated Press, the grand jury, whose term expires this month, has recommended the future grand jury continue probing "unresolved issues" at Oakwood.
So far this year, state inspectors have issued their most serious "Type A" citation to Oakwood ten times for neglect and abuse problems.
That series of citations prompted federal officials to threaten to cut off Medicaid funds in September, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed to delay the move while the state appeals the decision and tries to correct problems.
Earlier this month, lawmakers approved a $9.1 million contract for an independent company hired to correct the problems at Oakwood, despite concerns over the cost and calls for the state to regain control of the facility.