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Sodus Rehab and Nursing Center cited again by NYS

February 13, 2019 06:16 PM

SODUS, N.Y. (WHEC) --A nursing home at the center of a News10NBC investigation continues to get cited by the state of New York.

New inspection records show Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center continues to rack up health and safety violations.  

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The updated data shows that over the last four years, Sodus Rehab and Nursing Center has been cited 67 times for standard health violations, compared to the statewide average of 20.

It has also been cited 23 times for life safety violations, compared to the average of 13. So, 90 total violations versus the state average of 34 at other nursing homes. 

The videos of the conditions inside Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center speak for themselves but patients and family members have been vocal over the last two years with stories about sub-par medical care and severe staffing shortages too.  

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke traveled to the New York City area to try to get answers from the CEO of the company that owns Sodus Rehab but Ephraim Zagelbum ignored her questions, asked her to leave his property and called the police. 

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker assured News10NBC his team was investigating.

"I've seen your reports and I've been following what you're doing and our entire team has been working on this issue," he told Lewke late last year.

New inspection records, obtained by News10NBC, show the health commissioner's inspectors have been inside Sodus Rehab a number of times since our investigation intensified over the summer.  

In February 2018, Sodus Rehab was cited for failing to investigate injuries of an unknown origin to rule out abuse, neglect or mistreatment.

Inspectors determined a resident had bruises to all four limbs and skin tears on her lower extremities and the center never investigated how they got there.  

In August 2018, Sodus Rehab was cited for failing to report to the state that two residents had their TVs stolen from their rooms.

Inspection records show the center never found the TVs, filed a police report but ended up reimbursing family members that paid to replace them.

In September 2018, Sodus Rehab was cited again, this time for failing to provide residents with adequate assistance to maintain personal grooming.

State inspectors themselves reported seeing a resident in the hallway with a large stain of brown material on the back of his pants and a strong odor of feces.

The resident was barefoot on a Foley bag that was seen dangling at the bottom of his pant leg.

Inspectors, on the same visit, also reported seeing another man, wearing only an incontinence brief without shoes, socks, a shirt, pants or a gown. That man's brief, according to inspectors, was hanging low between his legs from being so full of feces and urine.  

One of the inspection records goes on to detail something News10NBC has heard from more than a dozen current and former employees at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.  

The state inspector wrote in a report that when asking the CNA (certified nursing assistant) about a bathroom situation he said, "he does not like to work the evening shift because it is so short-staffed and they cannot keep up with the care."

Administrators did not respond to News10NBC's request for comment on Wednesday.  

They did respond to each of the violations with a plan of correction.

In the paperwork filed with the New York State Health Department, Sodus Rehab outlines new protocols for helping patients with bathroom needs and a new system to keep track of patient's belongings and electronics.

As for the unknown origin of the bruises and skin tears it was cited for, that patient is no longer a patient at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center but the paperwork says, the staff has been retrained to ensure they are properly reporting injuries. 

In a statement, a spokesman for the NYSDOH told News10NBC, "To improve the quality of care at Sodus, the new management has implemented plans of correction which were accepted by the department. We will continue to closely monitor Sodus to make sure its vision for care is compliant with all state and federal regulations."

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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