A Bronx nurse’s aide has been convicted of three counts of willful violation of public health law and three counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. The nurse, Sandra Kerr, was convicted on December 24, 2015, for violations that occurred at Gold Crest Care Center, a nursing home in Bronx, New York.
The conviction stems from Kerr’s vicious treatment of an elderly resident of the facility. The resident, whose name is protected for privacy purposes, physically struck an elderly resident whose Alzheimer’s disease is so advanced that is unable to verbally communicate. The horrific case of elder abuse came to light because of the elderly woman’s granddaughter who installed a “hidden video camera” in her grandmother’s room.
Suspecting that her grandmother may be mistreated, the victim’s granddaughter, Diana Valentin, said that “when I actually saw [the abuse] I was horrified and heartbroken.” When she had previously told Gold Crest Care Center of her concerns for her grandmother’s well-being, hospital administrators replied that her grandmother was hurting herself.
The recorded video, which was secretly hidden in a plant, shows Kerr violently assaulting the elderly woman. First, the nurse snaps the grandmother’s arm back. Then she slams the elderly woman into the metal railing on the sides of her bad, only to violently push the padding on the bed onto the helpless woman.
Two days later, the video recorded Kerr assaulting the elderly woman, again. On that occasion, she physically struck the woman in her side twice. Kerr was convicted on December 24, 2015, for the crimes resulting from attacking the elderly resident.
Unfortunately, this follows a pattern of poor patient treatment at Gold Crest Care Center.
The facility-at-large has faced numerous regulatory violations in recent years. From 2013 – 2016, a total of 95 complaints were reported to New York State. That is above average for nursing homes in the state. While the average nursing home in New York has 45.3 complaints per 100 beds, Gold Crest Care Center had an average of 55.9 over the past few years.
In addition to numerous regulatory citations, the retirement home is also no stranger to news-worthy scandals.
In 2010, Gold Crest Care Center was at the center of another horrific ordeal when a doctor, nurse aide, and ambulance driver were all arrested for mistreating an elderly resident. According to the New York Post, Dr. Enrico D’Angelo, nurse Diane Aduna, and ambulance driver Juan Garcia were all arrested for failing to provide care to the elderly woman. The newspaper reports that the ambulance driver failed to buckle the elderly resident’s wheelchair into the vehicle. After making an abrupt stop, the woman allegedly flew out of her wheelchair and broke her left hip and pelvis. Despite the serious injury, Gold Crest Care Center apparently told the victim’s children that she only had “minor injuries.” Sadly, the elderly woman died weeks later as a result of her injuries.
The family came forward after the outcry over Kerr’s violent assault on the helpless Alzheimer’s patient. Speaking to the New York Post, the daughter Barbara DiNapoli said, “… I was so devastated. I don’t want this to happen to anyone. You bring your parents to be taken care of by professionals. I never thought there was such evil in the world – so close to home.”