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Oswego Nurse's Aide Charged With Patient Abuse At Nursing Home

Oct 31, 2003 |

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced that a certified nurse's aide at the Loretto Heights Nursing Home in Oswego has been arrested for abusing two elderly patients during a two-day period last summer.

Appearing for arraignment Thursday before Acting Oswego City Court Judge Kevin Young, Michelle M. Jenkins, 21, of 132 Black Creek Road in Oswego, was charged in an Information with four counts of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person and four counts of Wilful Violation of the Health Laws. If convicted, Jenkins faces up to one year in prison.

Prosecutors charge that, on July 4, 2003, Jenkins refused to provide a 76-year-old female stroke victim with her required oxygen and water because the patient had previously attempted to kick her. A short while later, while cleaning an 81-year-old male resident, suffering from congestive heart failure and dementia, Jenkins touched his genital area in a rough manner, causing him to squirm and cry out.

Prosecutors further charge that two days later, Jenkins had two more angry encounters with the 81-year-old resident. While attempting to get the resident to the dining area, Jenkins loudly yelled at him to get going and pushed him so hard in his merrywalker that the resident's feet became bent under the walker and he almost fell out of the walker. (A merrywalker provides a chair directly behind the person to rest on and completely surrounds the person when he walks). Minutes later, while the resident was being transferred from his merrywalker to a dining room chair, Jenkins grabbed him by the arm and the back of his pants, and, according to several aides present at the time, threw the patient into the chair with such force that the chair almost tipped over when he landed in it.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the administration and staff of the nursing home for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Jenkins worked at Loretto Heights Nursing Home, located at 132 Ellen Street in Oswego, from June 2000 to July 10, 2003, when she was terminated after the incidents.

Special Assistant Attorney General Norman S. Hatt, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Syracuse Regional Office, is prosecuting the case. Assisting on the investigation was Special Investigator Patrick Lynch.

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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