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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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December 1, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: OPERATION GUARDIAN COMPLIANCE CHECKS CONDUCTED TODAY IN CHICAGO AREA

Investigators Make Three Arrests in Suburban Nursing Homes

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today results from two “Operation Guardian” compliance checks in the Chicago area. Madigan said investigators from her office descended on nursing homes in West Chicago and Westmont this morning and made three arrests as part of the sweeps.

Since February, Operation Guardian investigators have arrested 33 employees and residents as part of the Attorney General’s ongoing effort to ensure nursing home residents are safe and receiving the compassionate care they deserve.

“We are continuing to conduct unannounced compliance checks to make sure that nursing homes are safe for vulnerable residents,” Attorney General Madigan said. “We must make sure that the criminal pasts of nursing home employees and residents are checked and potentially dangerous employees or residents are not able to pose a threat to others.”

Today’s sweeps were the 22nd and 23rd compliance checks conducted by Madigan’s office and other state agencies since she launched her Operation Guardian initiative in February. At Wood Glen Nursing and Rehab Center, 30 W. 300 North Ave., West Chicago, investigators discovered one person who had been reported as missing and, based on active arrest warrants, arrested one employee and one resident. At the Westmont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 6501 S. Cass Ave., Westmont, investigators arrested one employee based on an outstanding and active arrest warrant.

Wood Glen has 207 beds, all of which are Medicaid eligible, and the Westmont center has 166 beds, of which 124 residents are eligible for Medicaid.

These multi-agency nursing home compliance checks as part of Operation Guardian give state and local agencies the opportunity to review safety and compliance issues. As part of these checks, the Department on Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program works to ensure residents’ rights are not being violated. The Department of Public Health conducts a compliance review of any identified offenders and any reported incidents in the last six months, and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation interviews administrators and performs a license check of all professionals employed at the nursing facility.

This initiative expands on the Attorney General’s previous work to shut down south suburban Emerald Park Nursing Home when it was found to be housing numerous sex offenders and other felons.

Madigan has also successfully worked to protect nursing home residents by requiring background checks and criminal history analyses for all residents to identify those who might pose a threat to others. In addition, Madigan authored the Resident’s Right to Know Act that requires nursing homes to complete an annual consumer choice information report detailing the facility’s standard of care, service and security issues to provide better information to residents and their families.

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