FAIRLAND - An Ottawa County residential home was cited for several deficiencies after state officials investigated a complaint regarding the death of a 19-year-old resident.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released its investigation of Green County Residential Center in Fairland. The home is licensed by the state Department of Health and recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
The facility was cited with failure to supervise, provide medications, failure to protect residents from assaults and harm, failure to keep records and report to the state agency incidents involving the residents.
Cindy Bedford, director of the residential center, earlier referred all questions to their attorneys, David Jones and Michael T. Torrone, of the Logan and Lowry law firm.
Jones was unavailable for comment. Torrone said on behalf of Bedford, he and Jones declined to comment on the investigation.
Because of the nature and severity of the deficiencies in the investigation, the residential home was referred to the State Department of Health's legal division with a recommendation that a financial penalty be imposed, according to a letter dated April 25 from the state agency to Bedford.
A $100 day fine, not to exceed $10,000, may be imposed, the letter states.
The center is a privately owned 24-hour facility with 40 beds and treats patients with mental illnesses. Currently, the center has 23 residents.
The investigation was opened in April after the state agency started receiving complaints about the center.
The most serious complaint concerned the February death of a 19-year-old unsupervised patient who stepped into traffic on SH 125. A month later, a male client of the residential home jumped a day care facility's 6-foot privacy fence and entered an area where children were playing before jumping back over the fence.
According to the investigation report dated April 18, agency representatives were onsite at the residential center on four different occasions in April.
The home failed to provide supervision for four residents diagnosed with a mental illness and failed to administer mood-stabilizing physician ordered medications for one resident, the 29-page report indicates.
The home also failed to report resident to resident assaults for four residents involved in physical and verbal assaults, including when one resident pulled a knife on another resident, according to the report.
The home was also cited for have incomplete or no records involving the residents and reports of them missing from the residential home, the report states.
The home failed to protect the 19-year-old resident from actual harm and failed to protect three residents from the unreasonable risk of harm, the report alleges.
The 19-year-old patient who died after walking into traffic was reported missing from the residential home seven times in 37 days, according to investigators. The home failed to notify the state agency when on five of those occasions when the resident was missing and the police were notified. The report shows on several occasions when he was found as far away as seven miles from the center.
A hospital psychiatric evaluation showed the patient was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder bipolar, the report states. The evaluation included an assessment and plan that documented the resident, “was extremely psychotic, became violent towards the mother and has a history of noncompliance. The resident will stay in line of sight and eye vision at all times.”
He was put on antipsychotic and mood stabilizer drugs, according to the report.
According to the investigation, the residential medication administration record shows the medications were not given and a review show there was no order to discontinue the medication.
The home also failed to notify the agency when another resident entered the day care playground and a police report was filed, the report states.
A fixture for more than 16 years in the Fairland community, Growing in Grace Day Care Center provides services to approximately 40 children on a daily basis.
Karen Smith, day care center operator, has complained to the town council about the lack of supervision at the center for over a year.
During a recent meeting of the town trustees, several parents expressed their concern about the residential center and requested that city officials enact zoning laws to prevent another residential center from going in next to a day care center. The board took no action.
According to a Fairland Police Department report by Officer Tony Wisely, Bedford said that, since the day care employee positively identified the suspect who jumped the fence, the resident would be dismissed.
It is unknown if the resident was dismissed.
Parents have expressed concern that sex offenders may be living at the home.
Health care officials confirmed no sex offenders are currently listed among residents of the Green Country Residential Center, but they are not prohibited from use of the facility.
Dorya Huser, Chief of Long Term Care for the State Department of Health said it is the legal responsibility of the residential center to notify the state upon housing a registered sex offender and that there are consequences for non-compliance.
Sex offenders must have their residency address updated with the Department of Corrections, she said.
If a sex offender violates state laws, the matter moves into the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.