Nursing Homes

Nine stories from Rechnitz’s California nursing homes

In 2013-14, these 23 nursing homes owned by Shlomo Rechnitz received a total of 50 serious deficiencies, or problematic conditions graded G or higher by the federal government.

Stories from some of those homes

Alameda Healthcare & Wellness Center

3 serious deficiencies

The facility got one of its serious deficiencies after a female resident lost more than 11 pounds in four months, or 13 percent of her body weight, and inspectors observed that she appeared “thin and frail.” The resident had told staff that the food was too dry and requested extra gravy because of her “swallowing disorder” that caused her to choke more easily. Inspectors found that the dietary aide failed to notify the cook, and the resident’s weight fell to 74.1 pounds.

Gridley Healthcare & Wellness Centre

6 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Oct. 2 and set for closure. Surveyors identified immediate jeopardy to residents four times in five months. In the first survey, investigators said a patient suffered dehydration and died, while another resident with severe chest pain complained it took staff nine hours to get him an ambulance.

Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Centre

4 serious deficiencies

Inspectors issued multiple deficiencies after seven residents and one staff member fell ill from a contagious infection. Surveyors found poor hand-washing by staff, improper cleaning methods and unsanitary handling of linens. The director of staff development stated she had provided infection control training, but investigators found the documents had been taken from Wikipedia – “not recognized as a standard resource for professional infection control practice.”

Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, Eureka

1 serious deficiency

All 57 residents were found to be in immediate jeopardy when inspectors discovered the facility was using seven portable space heaters in resident care areas. The building’s heating system had been malfunctioning during a cold snap, and space heaters were set on high, posing a fire risk. Inspectors found one space heater in the front lobby beneath a table, near a lighted artificial Christmas tree. Another was inside the nurses’ station between two racks of clinical records.

Presidio Health Care Center, Spring Valley

2 serious deficiencies

The facility got two serious deficiencies because of low food supplies. Inspectors found inadequate food stock to meet daily nutritional needs, or for an emergency. Two refrigerators at the facility contained only a plastic bag with a “grey colored substance” (identified by staff as five pounds of hamburger) and five gallons of milk. The third refrigerator was empty.

Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center

1 serious deficiency

A resident with “moderate dementia” and a “history of self-mutilating behavior” was burned in September 2012 after she helped herself to four cups of coffee in the lobby and spilled them into her lap. The coffee, left out for anyone, was later found to be more than 170 degrees. Inspectors determined the facility failed to provide adequate supervision for the disabled resident to prevent the injuries.

South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital

(Renamed Mission Grove Healthcare & Wellness Centre)

2 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Jan. 5. The facility got a serious deficiency after a 67-year-old female resident collapsed and died during an inspection. Investigators found that a licensed vocational nurse and certified nursing assistant did not know how to properly administer CPR, and 10 staff members did not respond correctly when asked later about CPR guidelines. The facility received a second serious deficiency after seven mentally ill patients were found to be coming and going without proper assessment. One committed suicide in a nearby neighborhood by lighting herself on fire.

Vernon Healthcare Center, Los Angeles

7 serious deficiencies

This facility had more serious violations in 2013 and 2014 than any other owned by Rechnitz. Key concerns were poor supervision, including one resident who used a motorized wheelchair twice found lying on the ground, injured, outside the facility. The administrator told inspectors that residents leave “all the time and just never return to the facility.” She said the nursing home does nothing to check on their welfare, assuming they “had just gone back to the streets.”

Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre, Auberry

3 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Nov. 7. Rechnitz permanently closed the facility late last year. Investigators visiting the home in October called immediate jeopardy in three instances and gave Wish-I-Ah its most severe deficiency for an infection that sickened residents and staff. Surveyors also issued a deficiency over the death of a 75-year-old resident from sepsis after improperly handling her wound dressing. They cited unsanitary conditions in the kitchen, bathrooms and ice machine, as well as improper disposal of raw sewage.

Marjie Lundstrom