Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health are seeking the closure of Regal Health & Rehab Center in Oak Lawn, IL. Officials cite the facility’s pattern of safety problems as the primary reason for their decision to revoke the facilities license.
According to Melany Arnold, an IDPH spokeswoman, “Its happened over the years. (Regal will) fix (a violation), but then they’ll get into another cycle and have a different violation. They’re following the law and operating under the law, but because of the history of the facility, we have grounds to revoke a license.”
In February, nursing home inspectors found problems with medical equipment, personnel and supervision of resident. According to health department officials, the problems were corrected shortly thereafter which in turn allowed the facility to remain open.
However, the ‘cycle’ of problems at Regal continue. In April, an inspection revealed an unknown patient sustained burns when he smoked cigarettes while hooked up to an oxygen machine. The man died shortly after the incident.
In June,Village of Oak Lawn inspector’s cited Regal for:
- Dirty water fountains and appliances
- Water damaged ceilings
- Rodent droppings on the floors
- Employees smoking within the building
- Employees washing hands in sinks that contained food
“This building is in compliance, there there’s not anything negative coming from (the health department about us now,” according to Michael Lerner, Regal’s owner. “Anything that’s alleged gets resolved,” he added.
Lerner is the sole owner of Regal Health and Rehab Center. Lerner also owns Camelot Terrace and Forrest Hill Health and Rehab according to public records. Not surprisingly, all of Lerner’s facilities have multiple safety violations and have been regularly sued in Cook County.
I commend the Department of Health for acting proactively in this matter. Maybe this will be a wake up call to other nursing home owners who elect to provide the most minimal quality of care to their patients.
Read more about this troubled Chicago nursing home here.