Lebanon Nursing Home Employee Charged With Assaulting 88-Year-Old Patient

  • Kareen McGregor

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lebanon — An employee of Genesis HealthCare in Lebanon has been charged with assaulting an 88-year-old patient.

Police charged Lebanon resident Kareen McGregor with second-degree assault, a felony, and simple assault, a misdemeanor, the police department announced on Tuesday.

Police allege that McGregor, 50, a licensed nursing assistant at the 110-bed nursing home on Old Etna Road, poured water over the head and face of a female patient, and then placed clothing around the patient’s head and neck to impede her breathing last Friday.

After learning of the alleged assault, officials at the nursing home promptly reported it to police on Saturday, Chief Richard Mello said on Tuesday.

The police investigation involved speaking with members of the patient’s family, who were the first to report the incident, Mello said.

“If it was my family (member), I certainly would be outraged,” Mello said.

Police also spoke with staff and other patients who witnessed the incident, Mello said.

They found no serious injuries as a result of the alleged assault, but did find some bruising, he said.

He could not speak to how long the assault is alleged to have lasted, he said.

The department does not often respond to calls of this type of assault on the elderly, said Mello, who described such violence as “pretty horrendous.”

Phone calls to numbers listed for a woman named Kareen Miller McGregor living on Wolf Road in Lebanon went unanswered on Tuesday afternoon. One number was not connected and there was no voicemail at the other.

Mello said he did not know whether McGregor had retained an attorney.

Dottie Ruderman, the Lebanon nursing home’s executive director, declined to comment on the incident and instead directed questions to Genesis’ corporate spokeswoman Jeanne Moore.

“Lebanon Center has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to abuse,” Moore said in an email. “When we receive a report of alleged abuse from any source, be it patient, family or another employee, we report the allegation to the appropriate authorities and begin an internal investigation. Lebanon Center does not hesitate to terminate any employee when we believe, after our internal investigation, that the employee engaged in inappropriate behavior towards our residents.”

McGregor is no longer an employee of Genesis’ Lebanon Center, she said.

Genesis, which operates more than 500 nursing homes and other health facilities nationally, is the largest nursing home operator in both New Hampshire and Vermont.

In addition to the Lebanon location, it operates two additional facilities in the Upper Valley, the Elm Wood Center in Claremont and the Springfield (Vt.) Health and Rehabilitation Center.

The Lebanon Genesis facility currently has a three-star rating on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Nursing Home Compare website.

Nursing homes with five stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with one star are considered to have quality much below average, according to CMS’ rating system.

The most recent inspection of the facility in August found four deficiencies, including the failure to have a comprehensive care plan for one patient, problems with the management of medications for several patients, the existence of hazards — including a can of cooking spray near a hot griddle and bleach wipes in an unlocked cupboard — near a kitchenette, and a failure to properly date some foods.

McGregor was arrested, charged and released on $7,500 personal recognizance bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Grafton County Superior Court on Dec. 4.

Valley News Staff Writer Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.