GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The state will look into allegations against a West Michigan long-term care facility amid an ongoing investigation by the 13 Help Team, detailing numerous claims of neglect.
Current and former residents, loved ones and advocates have accused the SKLD facility on East Beltline of everything from hours-long waits, to unnecessary amputations, to preventable injuries and fatalities.
13 ON YOUR SIDE has learned the Michigan Attorney General’s Office would review “multiple complaints [received] after your on-air coverage.”
“I'm happy,” Linda McIntosh related. “I hope that they stand up to what they said they're going to do. That's the thing. You never know, people say one thing and do something else.”
McIntosh believes she has a reason to be skeptical.
If not for her brother’s sake, she’d like the review to help other residents McIntosh worries may find themselves in a similar position.
“I hope to God that somebody steps-in and gets them people out of there,” she suggested. “If I could go out there myself and get those people out of there, I would do it because if they don't do it fast, then somebody else is going to lose a loved one.”
We introduced you to Stephen Gilbreath, a former residen, in late April.
He passed away in May of 2022 after contracting a severe infection.
Stephen’s situation is one of plenty that we’ve looked-into over a period of several months concerning the facility on East Beltline.
In a statement previously provided to 13 ON YOUR SIDE, SKLD’s parent company, Illuminate Healthcare, related the following:
“It is our policy to provide professional care and services in an environment that is free from abuse/neglect. The facility adheres to the federal guidelines dedicated to preventing abuse/neglect. SKLD Beltline reports all allegations of abuse/neglect following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines; hence appropriate State Agencies have been promptly notified to initiate their investigations in addition to the facility’s separate investigations. Due to privacy concerns, we can’t elaborate further on our internal investigations or the final findings by the State Agencies. SKLD strives to provide exceptional care to all our residents and is grateful to the frontline heroes who provide care day in and day out and make it possible.”
The company said it had launched an ‘extensive’ internal investigation and that state agencies had been notified.
I circled back with McIntosh Friday, showing her a federal survey uncovered since her brother’s story aired last month.
It identifies a ‘Patient #103’ who passed away following a hospitalization in May of last year, the same date her brother died.
In the document, surveyors explained a family member had accused staff members of neglect, an allegation the survey went on to conclude could “be substantiated” based upon a failure to follow policy.
“It's in black and white,” McIntosh glanced at the report. “There's the evidence right there. They murdered my brother. They chose not to take care of him and let him suffer… There's got to be people that's willing to step up and help these people that can't defend themselves.”
I contacted Illuminate Healthcare, seeking a response to the attorney general’s review and had yet to receive an answer at the time of publication.
This story will be updated if a response is received or as additional details come to light.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.