ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: OPERATION GUARDIAN
Carbondale — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that an "Operation Guardian" compliance check took place today in Carbondale. Area law enforcement officials joined Madigan at a late morning press conference to discuss the results of the compliance check at Helia Healthcare, 500 S. Lewis Lane.
"Through these compliance checks, we are putting nursing home owners and operators throughout the state on alert that at any time, we could visit unannounced to ensure the safety of the vulnerable adults who reside at these homes," Attorney General Madigan said.
Joining Madigan office were representatives of the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department on Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in addition to the Carbondale Police Department and the Carbondale Fire Department.
Madigan said Helia Healthcare houses 118 beds with all residents Medicaid eligible.
This was the seventeenth compliance check conducted since Attorney General Madigan announced her office’s Operation Guardian initiative to protect Illinois’ nursing home residents. The multi-agency visits give the state and local agencies involved the opportunity to review safety and compliance issues at nursing homes. For example, nursing home operators who fail to conduct background checks on residents or fail to have care plans in place for residents with felony convictions are in violation of state law.
As part of these compliance checks, the Department on Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program ensures that residents’ rights are not being violated with the goal of enhancing their quality of life. The Department of Public Health conducts a compliance review of any identified offenders and any reported incidents in the last six months. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation interviews administrators and performs a license check of all professionals employed at the nursing facility.
Attorney General Madigan announced the formation of "Operation Guardian" last February. This initiative follows her work to close Emerald Park Nursing Home and to require background checks and criminal history analyses to identify nursing home residents who might pose a threat to others. Attorney General Madigan also authored the Resident’s Right to Know Act that requires each nursing home to complete an annual Consumer Choice Information Report detailing the facility’s standard of care, service and security issues to provide better information to residents and their families.