Latest Report Confirms "Systemic" Problems At Illinois
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 7, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS--According to a state report obtained by the Daily Southtown, staff at Howe Developmental Center mishandled several cases of abuse and neglect at the facility, which houses about 400 people with developmental disabilities, during the month of August.
The 82-page Illinois Department of Public Health report detailed nine cases of abuse and neglect at the facility, including four cases in which residents suffered injuries such as bruises, scratches, and broken bones; one instance in which a resident allegedly sexually assaulted a roommate; and another case in which a staff member strip-searched a resident and threatened to cut out his tongue.
In some of those cases, the residents were supposed to have been monitored closely 24 hours a day, but staff were not able to say how the injuries occurred nor did they report them promptly.
Investigators revealed in one instance that a facility nurse failed to take immediate emergency action after finding that an "unresponsive" resident had a dangerously low temperature of 92.9 degrees. When he was found not breathing several hours later, he was rushed to a hospital, where he was immediately put on a breathing tube.
IDPH officials warned HDC earlier this year that it could lose the $29 million it receives from the federal Medicaid program to operate the institution. This most recent report confirmed that the institution's operators failed to identify and fix "systemic problems of a serious and recurrent nature".
"Report details Howe's accused misdeeds" (Daily Southtown)
"Illinois Begins Year-Long Study On Institutions" September 22, 2006 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)