BLOOMINGTON — Two former employees of Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community near Chenoa and a third person not associated with Meadows are under investigation after the third person allegedly posted unauthorized pictures and video of six residents on social media.
Two of the six pictures were "inappropriate," Meadows CEO Jay Biere told The Pantagraph on Wednesday. According to an Illinois Department of Public Health statement, the posts included partial nudity.
Biere said any posting on social media without residents' permission is wrong.
"This is completely and totally unacceptable and does not represent Meadows and its values," Biere said. "This is a criminal case and we are fully cooperating with the McLean County Sheriff's Department during its investigation."
McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.
Biere said a boyfriend of a former Meadows' certified nursing assistant posted the pictures on social media.
"As soon as we became aware of what happened in March, we reported immediately to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the McLean County Sheriff's Department and we notified families of the residents whose pictures were posted," Biere said.
IDPH has fined Meadows $25,000 for allegedly failing to protect the residents and failing to report the unauthorized pictures after it became aware of the matter. But Biere said Meadows reported as soon as it became aware of what happened, and it has terminated the employment of two workers suspected to be involved in the matter.
"We are contesting this fine with the Illinois Department of Public Health and have requested a hearing," Biere said.
"The staff members at Meadows are committed to excellence and compassionate care; it is sad when allegations arise suggesting several individuals chose to act contrary to those values."
"Each week, our employees spend thousands of hours providing compassionate quality care to our residents. ... These allegations of dysfunctional behavior will not overshadow the amazing good work that occurs every day within this community," added the CEO.
Meadows is a 159-bed skilled, intermediate and shelter care facility located at 24588 Church St., rural Chenoa.
The alleged violation of the state Nursing Home Act was among 22 violations by nursing homes statewide, IDPH said in a news release. IDPH releases a list of nursing home alleged violations and fines each quarter.
Other Pantagraph-area facilities cited were Morton Terrace H&R Center, a skilled and intermediate care facility at 191 E. Queenwood Road, Morton, and Washington Christian Village, a skilled care facility at 1201 Newcastle Road, Washington.
Morton Terrace was fined $25,000 for allegedly failing to provide prompt medical care for a resident with a worsening lack of blood flow to a leg, contributing to the resident's death. The facility has requested a hearing.
Washington Christian was fined $50,000 for failing to properly administer a resident's medications, resulting in emergent hospitalization. The facility requested a hearing and paid $27,776.50.