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August 13, 2012 10:01 PM

Reports Raise Concerns At Other Ward Facilities

Sioux Falls, SD

The state has shut down one of their nursing homes and now South Dakota Department of Health documents are shedding light on the other assisted living facilities owned by Joe and Charlie Ward.

The Wards, and Ward Enterprises, own assisted living facilities in Sioux Falls, Colton, Viborg and Vermillion.

The Department of Health visited the Ward Enterprises Assisted Living Center in Sioux Falls back in May. The report filed shows that unlabeled, undated and expired food was found in the fridge of the facility.

The report for the Sioux Falls facility also found that there was a prescription for hydrocodone distributed by the pharmacy in May but that prescription drug was never accounted for. The administration said they would have two staff members sign for prescriptions to fix the problem, but when the Department of Health reviewed recent prescriptions that policy wasn't followed and only one staff member had signed for those drugs.

At the Colton Assisted Living Center, a July report found that food was being stored on the floor.

The Department of Health also found that medications were not being locked up and secured, but a lock was recently placed on the fridge where the drugs are kept last week.

At the Evergreen Assisted Living Center in Viborg, a March inspection found that the facility did not properly document the disposal of anti-anxiety drugs and morphine and did not file quarterly reports for patients who administered their own medication.

And at the Vermillion Assisted Living Center, there was not proper documentation of pneumonia immunization records for some residents.

So while the issues found at the other four facilities owned by Ward Enterprises aren't as serious as the deficiencies that led to the shutdown of the Hudson Healthcare Center, the state Department of Health has found issues that have caused some concern.

A Department of Health surveyor also found at the Viborg facility that residents' medical and financial records were lying in piles in the office and were not properly secured and stored.

The Wards plan on appealing the decision to shutdown the Hudson nursing home.

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