Local News

Cherry Hospital worker fired over pillow incident

Posted June 9, 2010

— An employee at the state-run Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro has been fired following an incident earlier this year that put the hospital in jeopardy of losing federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid services.

Kevin Dunn was released from his position as a mental health technician after an internal investigation into a matter in April in which Dunn placed a pillow over a 22-year-old male patient's face to help restrain him.

Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler said last month that no one would be fired over the matter, because it was the result of employees not being adequately trained.

Mark Van Sciver, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said further investigation, however, prompted Dunn's termination.

As a result of the incident, all employees at the Goldsboro facility are expected to undergo intensive retraining that involves a list of prohibited actions, Cansler has said.


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  • commonsensical Jun 9, 2010

    The problem with the mentally ill is that they know they can get away with abusing the staff because they can use the excuse that they're mentally ill. While in some cases their illness renders them incapable of controlling their behavior, the vast majority of them exploit and abuse their condition so that they can get away with abusing and manipulating staff. The more we excuse their intentional and controllable bad behavior, the worse it will get. Nobody will want to care for them at all.

  • catfisherman Jun 9, 2010

    The News & Observer had a little more info on this. The guy was restraining a patient, and the patient started spitting on him. He put the pillow over the patient's face for a few seconds to avoid bodily fluids, because he said they never trained him on how to handle that situation.

  • affirmativediversity Jun 9, 2010

    WRAL, was anyone else fired? Why would Kevin Dunn be the only one fired...was he by himself when you put that pillow over the patient's face? Did anyone attempt to stop Dunn from doing it or object to it in anyway or did all the staff present think it was okay BUT because he was the one to be identified as actually committing the act he gets fired?

    Where was the nurse or supervisory staff that is required BY LAW to be present if a patient is being restrained or subdued? Are they still employed there?

    This entire incident really highlights how easily society contiues to justify the abuse of the mentally ill.