Seven Louisiana nursing homes ordered closed for evacuating patients to warehouse before Hurricane Ida

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  5 comments

By:   Dennis Romero

Seven Louisiana nursing homes ordered closed for evacuating patients to warehouse before Hurricane Ida
Seven Louisiana nursing homes that evacuated patients to a warehouse before Hurricane Ida were ordered closed immediately Saturday.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Seven Louisiana nursing homes on Saturday were ordered to close immediately because their patients were evacuated to a single warehouse ahead of Hurricane Ida, the Louisiana Department of Health said.

Seven patients have died since the move, and five of the deaths have been classified as storm-related fatalities, the health department said in a statement.

Department personnel visited the warehouse on Monday and Tuesday and "observed conditions that have caused great concern to the State Health Officer that he reasonably believes may cause a danger to the public life, health, and safety," according to a separate state order prohibiting the return of residents to the seven facilities.

NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans reported that a Louisiana Department of Health spokeswoman said generators failed and patients were on mattresses on the floor without food or clean clothes, and with the odor of human waste filling the air as the warehouse was inundated by stormwater.

The spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State inspectors who went to the warehouse in the town of Independence "were expelled from the property" and "were subject to intimidation by the owner of the seven nursing facilities," the health department said.

A company associated with the nursing homes, most of which are in the New Orleans metro area, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday night.

The state health department said it moved the 843 patients from the warehouse Wednesday to other facilities or special needs shelters.

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'I had to find out on tv': 4 nursing home patients dead after transferring to warehouse for Ida


"The lack of regard for these vulnerable residents' wellbeing is an affront to human dignity," Louisiana's health officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, said in the statement. "We have lost trust in these nursing homes to provide adequate care for their residents. We are taking immediate action today to protect public health."

State health Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips warned: "There is more to come."

AARP Louisiana director Denise Bottcher said in a statement Friday that the organization is calling for state and federal investigations "into the warehousing of vulnerable, medically fragile adults and seniors during Hurricane Ida. "

"Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents, which includes planning for emergencies and evacuations," she said. "These tragic deaths are the result of a complete failure of oversight, enforcement, and planning dating back more than a decade."

Gov. John Bel Edwards has vowed an investigation that will include whether there was an intentional effort to obstruct inspection of the warehouse.

Ida struck near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane. The nursing homes evacuated residents to the warehouse two days before Ida made landfall, the health department said.

The state was left in tatters, with 12 deaths in Louisiana attributed to the storm. On Saturday night 644,648 utility customers in Louisiana remained without power.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  Kavika     one month ago

Sounds a lot like what happen in Katrina.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago

I'd bet the farm the owner of these nursing homes also owns a maga hat.

 
 
 
rescuedogs03
Freshman Silent
2  rescuedogs03    one month ago

I suspect an investigation, NOT done by the state, but the Feds, would find long term political payoffs, and Medicare, and Medical abuse.  The owner of ALL 7 facilities should be named!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3  sandy-2021492    one month ago

At first glance, it seemed like maybe they were making the best of a really bad situation - that perhaps the nursing homes were in areas expected to flood, and the staff was moving them to an uncomfortable, but safer, place.

But, no.

State inspectors who went to the warehouse in the town of Independence "were expelled from the property" and "were subject to intimidation by the owner of the seven nursing facilities," the health department said.

If that were the case, they wouldn't have prevented inspections.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
4  Split Personality    one month ago
Health department staff was also subjected to "intimidation" by the owner of the seven nursing homes, the department claimed in its statement.

That owner was identified as Baton Rouge businessman Bob Dean,   health department spokeswoman Aly Neel said Thursday .

In an interview last week with WAFB-TV of Baton Rouge, Dean defended the evacuation of the 800-plus patients, The Associated Press reported.

"We only had five deaths within six days, and normally with 850 people you’ll have a couple a day, so we did really good with taking care of people," Dean told the station.

On Wednesday, the health department, in coordination with other government agencies and local officials, conducted an evacuation of all patients from the warehouse in an operation that was completed Thursday,   the health department statement said .

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards last week promised a "full investigation" into the relocation of the patients to the warehouse, which authorities said was owned by The Waterbury Companies Inc.

The seven shuttered nursing homes included three in Jefferson Parish, two in Orleans Parish and one each in Lafourche Parish and Terrebonne Parish, the health department’s statement said.

Louisiana orders 7 nursing homes shuttered after Ida-related patient transfers, deaths (msn.com)
 
 
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