HERMISTON — An adult foster home in Hermiston known as Christy’s Loving Care has been shut down by the state after a resident’s broken leg sparked suspicions of abuse.
The home on Division Street, which was licensed for five beds, had its license suspended on May 15 and all residents were moved to new facilities. Christy Sinatra, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said licensee Chris Sak has not appealed the suspension.
According to the notice of suspension posted by DHS, the facility closure was prompted by an incident on March 14 in which a resident broke their leg (to protect privacy, the report does not name the alleged victim or state their gender).
The report states that on March 14 the victim was admitted to a hospital with a broken femur, plus bruising and skin injuries “in varied stages of healing,” prompting hospital staff to contact law enforcement about possible elder abuse.
Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston confirmed that HPD officers responded. He said his department’s report had been forwarded to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s office for review.
According to the DHS’s report of the suspension, Sak said that the broken leg was a result of the resident catching his or her leg on a book case while Sak was assisting with hygiene.
“Hospital staff reported that Licensee provided a story they did not believe could have happened as Licensee described it due to the severity of the leg break,” the report states.
It also stated that Sak explained the other injuries by saying “she terminated a caregiver with a history of abusing [the alleged victim]” but she never reported the suspected abuse and told families the caregiver was laid off for financial reasons. The report alleged that Sak had been seen in the hospital standing over the injured resident, who cried and nodded when asked if she was hurting them.
“Licensee’s actions are a violation of resident’s rights, are considered physical and emotional harm and constitutes abuse,” the report concluded.
Sak did not respond to an email or phone message left by the East Oregonian on Monday morning asking for comment.
According to Sinatra, state law allows licensees to reapply after a one-year waiting period and if Sak were to reapply, the department “would review the licensee’s history, including the facts of this case, and determine whether or not her application would be approved.”
She said when an adult foster home is shut down DHS works to minimize negative impacts on residents and assists in finding a safe and comfortable new home for each one.