Maggots found in eye socket of man in nursing home with Palm Beach County ties

Maggots found in eye socket of man in nursing home with Palm Beach County ties

September 13, 2010|By Charles Elmore, The Palm Beach Post

Maggots have been discovered in the eye socket of a 76-year-old man under the care of a Gainesville nursing home with ownership ties to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, his outraged daughter said.

A state investigation is under way.

“It’s absolutely inexcusable,” Patrice Ripley said. “Quite frankly, I’m angry.”

Her father, John Stumpp, had been under the care of Gainesville Health Care Center when the maggots were found in an examination at a Veterans Administration facility, according to Ripley.

The Gainesville nursing home is part of a chain that includes Glades Health Care Center in Pahokee, controlled by the family of executive Maxcine Darville of Okeechobee.

An investigation by The Palm Beach Post last year found Darville and family members enjoyed salaries above industry norms and spent money on luxury cars and hot tubs while two of three nursing homes in the chain, including the Gainesville home, received the lowest possible one-star rating from state regulators.

Darville and other officials with the chain could not be reached to comment.

A VA official confirmed the agency filed a report with the Adult Protective Services unit of the Florida Department of Children & Families.

“Please note that the discussed veteran was not under VA care when this matter occurred at this non-VA nursing home,” said VA spokeswoman Cindy Gaylord in an e-mail. “The veteran was brought to our medical center for care and shortly thereafter, the issue was forwarded to Adult Protective Services, Department of Children/Family Service for investigation.”

DCF spokesman John Harrell said: “We are very concerned about these disturbing allegations. We are actively and thoroughly investigating to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Harrell said he was limited in the details he could provide because the investigation is ongoing.

The department has been sharing information with agencies including the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Attorney General’s Office, Harrell said.

Stumpp, who lost an eye to cancer, had an infection in the eye socket, his daughter said.

An unannounced AHCA inspection of the Gainesville Health Care Center on Aug. 18 cited the nursing home for failing to notify a doctor of problems carrying out a physician’s order to change an unidentified resident’s eye bandages twice a day.

The resident was often uncooperative and refused to allow staff to change his dressing on the second shift 43 out of 57 times, the ACHA report said. The nursing home was required to notify the resident’s doctor or legal representative, according to the AHCA.

The inspection found a bottle of liquid bleach was left on a resident’s dresser and an elevator needed repair and cleaning.

The landlord for the Gainesville Health Care Center is one of the most prestigious teaching hospitals in the nation, Shands, affiliated with the University of Florida, The Post reported last year. The annual rent: More than $1 million.

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