Indictment Charges Local Nursing Home Staff With Abuse!

Nursing Home Negligence

In April, I wrote a blog about how fourteen nurses, nurses aides and a physicians’ assistant at the Northwoods Rehabilitation and Extended Care Facility, a nursing home near Troy, New York, were charged with endangering the welfare of elderly residents and felony falsification of nursing home records.

The abuse was discovered after an investigation, which was ordered by Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo produced surveillance video showing severe abuse and neglect to residents. The surveillance video revealed that the staff routinely failed to turn and position immobile residents, failed to administer medications, did not treat residents for pressure sores, and did not check residents for incontinence or change undergarments for long periods of time. Additionally, the residents’ medical records show that the nurses and aides falsified medical records to conceal their neglect.

Now, the Northwoods saga continues as nine members of the staff have now been named in a 175 page indictment charging them with the abuse. Those members of the staff charged in the indictment are: physician assistant, Julia Roske, 43, of Guilderland, certified nursing assistants, Jessica Tremper, 29, of Troy, and Sharon John, 54, of New York, and licensed practical nurses, Gail Klein, 61, of Mechanicville, Linda Vogt, 61, of Schaghticoke, Leslie Mayo, 53, of Watervliet, Alicia Smith, 36, of Schenectady; Lisa Sousie, 44, and Kathleen Osgood, 38.

Each faces counts of falsifying business records, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person; and willful violation of health laws. Sousie and Vogt have been arraigned and both have pleaded not guilty. The others staff members will be arraigned over the next three days. Northwoods has stated that the nine staff members named in the indictment have been suspended until the resolution of the case. Sousie’s attorney indicated that his client is in plea negotiations with the Attorney General’s office and hopes to settle her case quickly.

I continue to be proud of the Attorney General’s action in this case. Not only was the abuse caught on camera, but the Attorney General’s office has produced a solid indictment against those involved. Northwoods is a shining example of how horrific nursing home abuse can be. This is not the first time that the facility has been caught in an abuse scandal. In January 2010, a male nurse’s aide at Northwoods pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 78 year-old female resident. I am encouraged by the fact that the Attorney General continued an investigation into the facility after that case was resolved, and look forward to seeing that justice is done. I will continue to keep you updated with any new developments in this case.