More deaths reported at nursing homes in Haysville, Clearwater

Mary Clarkin
The Active Age

HAYSVILLE – The latest nursing home COVID-19 cluster in Sedgwick County has accounted for the county’s most recent death from the virus.
On Wednesday, the Sedgwick County Health Department announced Diversicare of Haysville was a cluster for the virus, with 14 residents and eight staff testing positive, but no deaths. But on Friday, county spokeswoman Kate Flavin stated in an email that Diversicare of Haysville had one death.
Flavin said the four nursing home COVID-19 clusters have had 20 of the county’s 23 deaths.
Clearwater Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had 11 resident deaths as of early June, Flavin confirmed this week, while Chisholm Place, 1859 N. Webb Rd., had seven resident deaths as of May 12, and Park West Plaza Retirement Community’s The Manor Nursing Home, 503 N. Maize Rd., had one resident death as of May 4. It had previously been reported that the Clearwater home had eight deaths.
Diversicare of Haysville is a 119-bed facility at 215 N. Lamar. Past inspection reports have found deficiencies, and it has an overall below average rating on medicare.gov. In January, Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a Topeka-based group, listed the Haysville home’s performance on recent health inspections as among the worst in the state. According to KABC, the home had been cited for 10 or more health safety deficiencies on each of the facility’s last three annual inspections, and was also among facilities cited for serious health safety violations during the facility’s most recent annual.
In a statement before the death was confirmed, Arien Reeves, the Diversicare administrator, said:
“Our goal in this situation, as in all others, is the provision of exceptional healthcare. Our Center implemented precautionary and preparedness measures early — all in accordance with CMS and CDC guidelines — including strict limitations on visitation.
“Limits on visitation will continue, per guidance from the CDC, and we are working hard to make sure residents can still connect with their loved ones. We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of this within our center and our community. Our infection control procedures are in compliance with the CDC and KDHE guidance.”
Last week, the former nursing director at Clearwater’s nursing home said that many of its residents were not given baths for more than five weeks, its former director of nursing says.
Christine Zeller, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing, described the lack of bathing as part of a pattern of substandard care caused by employee turnover and a shortage of equipment and supplies at Clearwater. She made the allegations in written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee of the Kansas Legislature last week.
Zeller’s testimony came as the Legislature was considering – and ultimately approving – giving nursing homes additional protection from lawsuits. Clearwater owner Willie Novotny denied Zeller’s allegations said the home was in “full compliance.”
This article was produced as part of the Wichita Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of seven news organizations. The effort is funded by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by the Knight Foundation.

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