Lincolnshire nursing care worker calls 911 for help after only one-third of employees report to work

Local and state officials are investigating whether neglect by new management was the reason a Lincolnshire nursing care facility with 104 residents was so understaffed that three residents had to receive care at a nearby hospital.

A contract employee at the facility at 150 Jamestown Lane called 911 for help Monday morning after zero medical staff and only around one-third of the facility's total employees arrived for duty, Lincolnshire police and Illinois Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday.

Monday was the first day The Wealshire, LLC took over as the facility operator from the previous owner, Warren Barr Rehab Facility, said Lincolnshire Deputy Chief Kimberly Covelli.

Calls for comment from The Wealshire were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Covelli said three residents were taken by paramedics from the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for medical treatment. At least two of the residents received the type of care they usually get at the facility when there are enough employees, Covelli said.

State officials said IDPH nursing home surveyors responded immediately to the facility Monday morning after being alerted to the lack of clinical care staff.

Employees who had worked under the previous owners were called in to help and provide proper care to patients at the facility. IDPH officials worked with staff to make a plan to provide care for the residents.

"We are trying to determine why staff didn't show up that day, was there a plan in place for (the) new business owner to have staff there," Covelli said. "We're trying to determine was there neglect."

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said the office's first priority was to ensure the care of the residents.

"A comprehensive review and investigation is underway," Vohra added. "We are grateful for the swift response by local EMS and police officials in Lincolnshire, as well as our sister agency, the Illinois Department on Aging, all of whom assisted in responding to this urgent issue."

Covelli said a few police officers were at the facility Monday to support first responders from the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District.

"There were no residents who were out of control," Covelli said. "But we knew it was a situation where there were people who didn't have proper care."

Investigators from Lincolnshire police and IDPH are conducting separate investigations, Covelli said.

State officials said their investigation will assess if penalties will be imposed, including the possibility of citations and monetary fines.

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