|Police Chief Arthur Miller at Press Conference|
SOUTH PASADENA -- A nursing home that ran afoul of the state partly because it recruited convicted felons, probationers, rapists and robbers as patients is under new ownership, a city official said Wednesday.
Instead of a median age of about 75 years old, residents at the former South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital had an average age of 37, Police Chief Arthur Miller said. He accused the former nursing home of sending recruiting teams to Los Angeles to get new patients.
“In that lower age population, there were convicted felons, probationers, drug users, rapists, robbers,” Miller said. “Traditionally police officers do not go to convalescent hospitals on a routine basis, especially to handle the crimes that I just described. … The staff at the time were not equipped for it. The hospital was not equipped for it, and it wasn’t licensed to do that type of rehabilitation.”
Shlomo Rechnitz, California’s largest nursing home owner with at least 80 facilities in the state, operated the convalescent hospital at 904 Mission St. from 2007 until a week ago when new proprietors Elliot Zemel and Yudi Schmukler took over and renamed it South Pasadena Care Center.
The nursing home was decertified on Jan. 5, and the new owners are working to get it certified, Zemel said.
Sallie Hofmeister, spokeswoman for South Pasadena Rehabilitation Center LLC — often called South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital — released a statement saying the facility has provided outstanding care since 2007.
“South Pasadena Rehabilitation Center LLC has provided quality health care services to a severely underserved population of patients with few to no options for placement. Despite the challenges of care for these patients with secondary psychiatric diagnoses, South Pasadena Rehabilitation Center LLC consistently excelled in survey after survey by the Department of Public Health between 2007 and 2014.”
In the past decade, the South Pasadena Police Department received about 1,100 calls for problems unique to Rechnitz’s nursing home, including violent crimes, assault and theft, Miller said. A nearby nursing home received only 200 in the same time period, he added.
In 2012, the number of 9-1-1 calls dropped, but that’s because someone rerouted emergency calls to the nursing stations, Miller said.
“We never heard about those calls until we started having to do foot beats through the hospital,” he said. “That’s crazy. That’s insane that the people that were asking for help got rerouted to their captors. It’s just unheard of.”
Of the 156 beds at the South Pasadena Care Center, 17 are still occupied, said Dolores Diehl, the facility’s new administrator. Most of the old staff members were discharged but some have remained to work under the successive ownership, she said. (Continue Reading)
Full Article & Source:
Former South Pasadena nursing home recruited felons as patients, police chief says
Troubled nursing home gets new ownership
California’s largest nursing home owner sued