Claremore veterans center reinstates director of nursing
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 6:44 AM
CLAREMORE - The Clare-more Veterans Center has reinstated the director of nursing, who was suspended after a report substantiated claims of caretaker abuse and neglect when a man died after being scalded at the facility.
Cindy Schnell had been suspended with pay pending an investigation.
She went back to work Dec. 20.
"There just wasn't grounds for termination," Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Shane Faulkner said. "We changed directors up there and felt that that was sufficient for now, and she was brought back."
As first reported in The Journal Record, veteran Jay Minter, 85, died in May after he was scalded in a whirlpool.
An internal investigation by the state Department of Veterans Affairs found negligence and abuse by one nurse and neglect by three other employees at the center.
Another report, from about a month earlier, substantiated a complaint of caretaker neglect when Louis Arterberry, 86, was not taken to a hospital for 10 hours after he had a stroke at the veterans center.
He died about a week later.
The director of the Clare- more Veterans Center resigned in July.
On the same day, the executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs resigned, citing her husband's medical issues.
A physician's assistant who was employed at the center went on leave in June and was fired in late August.
Also, a nurse's aide who was involved in Minter's care was discharged June 2, Faulkner said.
Not long after Minter's death, Gov. Mary Fallin replaced eight of the nine members of the Oklahoma War Veterans Commission.
A legislative review of the state Department of Veterans Affairs followed, highlighted by hearings that included testimony from family members of other veterans who said their loved ones had been abused, as well as from employees of the center who described a culture of intimidation that kept problems under wraps.
Original Print Headline: Veterans center reinstates nursing official
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378