In case you missed it, Friday we aired “Criminal Caregivers,” an investigation into the criminal backgrounds of workers at the Niagara Rehab nursing home in Niagara Falls.
The investigation was the second major piece in our “Nursing Home Neglect” series on the allegations of substandard care and patient deaths at the nursing home.
The online reaction to the latest piece was swift:
RNs don't need a background check in NYS that's absolutely ridiculous. We have felons taking care of Alzheimer's patients and kids
— Alex Kalosza ? (@AlexKalosza) February 4, 2017
Then there was this email I received just hours before the story aired from a woman whose mother is a current patient at Niagara Rehab. She told a heartbreaking tale of neglect and pleaded with me to keep digging into the nursing home’s record.
— Charlie Specht (@Charlie_Reports) February 4, 2017
So where does Niagara Rehab go from here?
That really depends on the two government agencies who opened investigations into the facility as a result of our stories:
- The State Department of Health has completed its investigation but has not yet released results.
- The State Attorney General’s Office, the last I checked, was still investigating but had announced no criminal charges against any employees.
I will be checking in with these agencies as well as finding out where things stand with the federal government. You may recall that Rep. Brian Higgins pushed for federal action, but it is unclear whether President Trump’s new team at the Department of Health and Human Services will classify Niagara Rehab as a troubled facility, which could limit federal funding if it does not improve.
A few weeks ago, someone from Niagara Rehab asked me, “How long are you going to stay on this story?”
I will be moving on to other topics soon, but you can bet I’m going to keep my eye on this story until things get better.
I think our viewers, and the patients at the nursing home, deserve nothing less.
Have a tip? Contact Charlie Specht at Charlie.Specht@wkbw.com and (716) 840-7870.