Commissioner Orders Investigation After Oakwood Resident Swallows
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 23, 2006
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY--Kentucky's largest state-operated institution, which houses about 280 adults with developmental disabilities, is now the subject of a state investigation after being cited again for failing to protect its residents from harm.
Friday's citation is the 17th "Type A" citation -- the strongest that can be issued for abuse and neglect -- issued against Communities at Oakwood in the past 16 months.
The citation came after a resident had to go through surgery to have a pair of latex gloves removed from his stomach.
According to the Associated Press, Mark D. Birdwhistell, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said Monday that he has asked John Burt, commissioner of mental health and mental retardation, to investigate the cause of this year's citations against Oakwood.
Birdwhistell also said he told Burt to come up with a plan in the next 45 days regarding Oakwood's future.
Birdwhistell reportedly said he would like to continue moving Oakwood residents to community settings.
Last fall, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid threatened to stop funding the facility, a move which state officials said would force the institution to close. The state is appealing that decision, while spending $9.1 million to an outside organization to operate the troubled facility for eight months.
"Communities at Oakwood" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)