Nine employees of the Medford Multicare Center for Living in Medford, New York were arrested in February 2014 for neglecting patients or trying to conceal the neglect from investigators. Seven of the arrests were linked to the death of a 72-year-old woman at the facility in 2012. In a separate civil suit filed in February 2014, the Attorney General alleges that the owners of the facility lined their pockets with $60 million in Medicaid funds while the quality of care at the facility deteriorated.
Kethlie Joseph, 61, a licensed professional trained in administering ventilator treatments, was charged with criminally negligent homicide for the death of a 72-year-old woman in her care. Joseph admitted that she ignored a doctor’s order to hook the woman up to a ventilator at night. The woman died as a result of not receiving the proper treatment. In addition, Joseph ignored alarms that sounded for two hours as well as messages to her pager that indicated that the patient had stopped breathing. Video camera footage shows Joseph walking away from the patient and not returning until hours later.
Other employees were also charged in connection with the resident’s death. Kimberly Lappe, 31, a licensed registered nurse, ignored alarms for two hours despite being inches away from monitor screens. Victoria Caldwell, 50, a licensed practical nurse, falsely claimed that the resident “looked up at me” when, in fact, the patient had probably been dead for some time. Christina Corelli, 37, claimed that the resident’s alarm was not hooked up and that the resident had been breathing normally, which was later revealed to be untrue. Finally, Patricia DiGiovanni, 62, an aide assigned to sit at the resident’s bedside, did nothing to respond to repeated alarms.
David Fielding, 56, a licensed administrator, and Christine Boylan, 49, director of respiratory therapy, were arrested for trying to conceal computer records that documented the alarms. An anonymous whistleblower later told authorities the truth about the woman’s death.
In two separate cases, Yolanda Monsalvo, 47, and Catherine Reyes, 49, were charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Willful Violation of the Health Laws. Monsalvo was arrested for leaving the building while a dementia patient she was supposed to be caring for suffered from a traumatic brain injury and a broken arm. A patient under Reyes’ care was found in extremely unsanitary conditions.
In a separate civil suit against the owners of the facility, the Attorney General claims that the owners took more than $60 million in Medicaid payments for themselves while the quality of care suffered greatly. For instance, since 2008, 17 employees of the facility have been convicted of neglect or attempting to cover up the neglect. Moreover, the suit alleges that the owners paid themselves huge salaries while cutting back on medical supplies and slashing the salaries of staff who provide critical care to residents.