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Charges filed against 11 former caregivers at vets home

Posted July 24

— Nearly a dozen former employees at a Michigan veterans home have been charged with felonies after investigators found they forged medical records of their patients.

Attorney General Bill Schuette's office announced the charges Monday, July 24 against 11 former caregivers at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

The 13-month investigation found regular room checks were not performed by the staff. The checks were required to ensure the health and safety of veterans living at the home, but investigators said staff members did not perform the checks and falsely charted that they did.

Staff members documented performing 100 percent of member room checks and 96 percent of fall alarm checks on multiple dates. However, video surveillance showed only 43 percent of room checks and 33 percent of fall alarm checks were actually performed, investigators said.

"We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude for their service to our country. Allegations that our veterans are being abused or neglected runs counter to the duty we owe them. These allegations were thoroughly investigated by my office," Schuette said. "This announcement does not represent the end of scrutiny of the GRHV or the close of the investigation. We will continue to aggressively follow-up on any new complaints of abuse or neglect of veterans at the home."

Schuette's investigation began after the Michigan Auditor General issued a report in February 2016 that was highly critical of operations and conditions at the home. He solicited reports of neglect and abuse from the public and investigated over 35 complaints of mistreatment of members.

Five of those complaints were highlighted in the investigation, including a case where a patient was allegedly left unattended in a courtyard and later found dead. The patient was found "freezing outside…in a puddle of urine" with his wheelchair tipped over.

In another incident, a dementia patient died after being assaulted by another patient with dementia. A delay in medical treatment allegedly contributed to the patient's death, investigators said.

The following people have been charged in the investigation:

Tyisha Toliver, 40, of Grand Rapids, is charged with four counts of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Doris Penny, 59, of Grand Rapids, is charged with three counts of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Eric Anderson, 59, of Holland, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Jasmine Ferrer, 27, of Wyoming, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Cary Gerencer, 52, of Sand Lake is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Sheryl Hillyer, 62, of Lansing, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Lolitta Jackson, 39, of Grand Rapids, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Emina Kahriman, 53, of Grand Rapids, is charged with two counts of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Michelle Longmire, 49, of Muskegon, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Roconda Singleton, 39, of Grand Rapids, is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

Sequoyah Thomas, 23, of Grand Rapids is charged with one count of violating MCL 750.492a, intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.

An intentional or willful violation of MCL 750.492a by a healthcare provider is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

The GRHV is one of two Michigan veterans' homes. The home provides care for patients with post-traumatic stress, dementia and other chronic conditions, and care for those in need of end-of-life support.

The home is operated and managed by the State of Michigan.

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