Sonoma Developmental Center's License to be Revoked by State

Sonoma-based facility has had numerous incidents of physical and sexual abuse of patients

The California Department of Public Health has announced is taking enforcement action against Sonoma Developmental Center where there were
allegations of physical abuse of 12 patients last year.

The CDPH on Wednesday said it is moving to revoke the license of the Center's Intermediate Care Facility that services 290 residents with intellectual disabilities and decertifying it from participation in the federal Medicaid program.

The Sonoma Developmental Center population was 520 in September.

Two surveys at the hospital disclosed deficient conditions that included client-to-client abuse, physical abuse of a client by a staff member, a staff member exposing himself and failure to monitor a client who ingested a non-food item, CDPH officials said.

None of them were related to the alleged Tasing and physical abuse of patients by a healthcare provider at the center last year, CDPH officials said.

"The actions we are taking today are necessary to make sure that the Sonoma Developmental Center improves the quality of care that it is providing to its residents in the Intermediate Care Facility," said state Public Health Officer and CDPH's director, Dr. Ron Chapman.

The Sonoma Developmental Center has been under review by the California Department of Public Health due to non-compliance and incidents that have resulted in harm to patients, the CDPH said in a news release.

The center may appeal the CDPH's actions and can, under CDPH oversight, continue operations during the appeal, the CDPH said. The appeal must be filed by Jan. 4.

Terri Delgadillo, director of the state Department of Developmental Services, said, "We have removed the Executive Director and the Clinical Director (of the Sonoma Developmental Center) and taken disciplinary action against several employees, including job terminations."

"We will work with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and CDPH to ensure the Sonoma Developmental Center's care meets state and federal standards," Delgadillo said.

"We are contacting our residents' families to assure them of our continued commitment to making improvements. We are moving quickly to fix this center and protect our residents," Delgadillo said.

Delgadillo said the Department of Developmental Services will file an appeal of the CDPH's action and develop a performance improvement plan to keep the Sonoma Developmental Center in operation.

Pam Dickfoss, assistant deputy director of the Center for Health Care Quality in the California Department of Public Health, said the department's nurses will be closely monitoring conditions at the Sonoma Developmental Center.

"We feel this will be turned around and they will be brought back to compliance," Dickfoss said.

Bay City News


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SophieII December 14, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Speaking from experience...I spent my Preceptorship for my Nursing (RN) Training out at SDC back in the 80's...This is one tough facility to work at..!! I mentioned some of the situations I came across, in my early Nursing trench work, to my colleagues, who worked at Kaiser, and they thought I friggin' was crazy. How was I going to remain compliant and still care for (restrain) these clients? I was punched (sucker), kicked, had food thrown at me, regurgitated upon many times, called every name in the book after I just cleaned up their mess, wiped their ass, changed their pants and bed sheets. I have professional acquaintances who have continued their health-care careers there for many years. I commend them for all the care they administer under extreme duress, difficult conditions and to an extremely challenging clientele base. Complaints re care are inevitable in these situations. Most have been shown to be fabricated...
Karen Alves December 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
This comment is why you have no business working in a hospital that serves clients that are difficult. More then "fabricated" complaints is the continued cover up by employees and administrators of abuses, neglect, and un-consented research. If clients are never validated, never believed, never heard, and constantly used by researchers, doctors and others what can we expect? Anger, frustration and retaliation.


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