Investigation into nursing home underway after resident death

Investigation into nursing home underway after resident found dead

WORCESTER, Mass. — A state investigation is underway at a local nursing home after one resident's death.

Boston 25 News obtained a letter sent out to residents, their families and staff members at Lutheran Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in Worcester discussing what they are calling "an isolated incident."

The incident in question involves a certified nursing assistant, which left one resident dead.

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The care center has been serving the greater Worcester community for nearly a century. The facility is now the subject of a state investigation.

In the letter, dated Oct. 9, the administration explains there was an incident involving one of their long term residents and a certified nursing assistant saying, in part:

"The resident was injured and sadly passed away the following day at the hospital. As a result of this unfortunate event, Lutheran is the subject of various enforcement actions and additional review by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health."

The center's administrator, Ziad Baroody, declined to go in front of a camera, but sat down with Boston 25 News to answer some questions.

While Baroody could not comment on the specifics of the incident, he confirmed the nursing assistant involved is no longer employed by Lutheran.

Baroody adds that the rest of their staff has undergone additional training and new safety measures related to the incident have been implemented.

He also says what happened is extremely uncharacteristic of the center, which he highlights has a long history of excellent care for their residents.

"Lutheran has received the highest 5-Star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and has a history of deficiency-free survey outcomes for the last 3 years," said Baroody.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed they are investigating the incident, adding that there have never been any issues with the facility in the past.

In a statement, a DPH spokesperson said that after the serious incident on Sept. 15 they "immediately conducted an unannounced onsite inspection to ensure the health and safety of residents, imposed a freeze on admissions and continues to work with the nursing home on a corrective action plan to address identified deficiencies."

While the investigation is ongoing, Baroody says the facility is not accepting new patients.