Author Topic: ViaQuest  (Read 4958 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Antigen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12992
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
« on: April 05, 2006, 10:19:00 PM »
Google Alert for: viaquest

New Claim About Group Home Operator

WBNS - Colombus,OH,USA

ViaQuest is already in jeopardy of losing its state license to operate.
... However, ViaQuest says there's no way that could
have happened. ...

Group-home operator faulted

Columbus Dispatch - Columbus,OH,USA

... The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says ViaQuest
Behavioral Health has violated several state rules, including leaving
two boys unattended ...

A family endures, in sickness or health

Columbus Dispatch - Columbus,OH,USA

... Last week, Jake celebrated his ninth birthday and his mom was
promoted to vice president of operations for her Dublinbased employer,
Viaquest. ...

Home - ViaQuest Behavioral Health

ViaQuest Behavioral Health provides quality behavi.

?Viaquest is a company serving people with emotional, mental ...

?Viaquest is a company serving people with emotional, mental,
physical and
  developmental disabilities?.your energy and compaassion
touched us all and as our ...

Viaquest Production

Viaquest Production specializes in scanning financial documents,
music recording,
  visual designs and web design and hosting. abcdefghijklmnopqrstu

Business First of Columbus: ViaQuest buys Metro I; CB to market ...

American City Business Journals Inc. is the nation's largest publisher
  metropolitan business newspapers, serving 41 of the country's
most vibrant ...


ViaQuest began working with Werth as a company so new that it needed
a name. ...
  Werth developed the ViaQuest name, logos
and graphic identity program, ...


ViaQuest is your first choice for positive change. We partner with
  for-profit and government organizations. Together,
we can increase the ...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The people who ran straight had the best of intentions. I hope they reached their destination.' target='_new'>James Lloyd

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Offline Antigen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12992
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2006, 10:23:00 PM »
--CONTENT GOES HERE (static)--

"If ya can't find something offensive here, check your pulse or clean your contacts!"--Eudora
 "Maia Szalavitz's meticulously researched account lays bare one of the most under-reported injustices occurring in America today. It is a chilling portrait of the dehumanizing effects of the war on drugs and of lives wasted by a teen help industry run amuck."--Evan Wright, best-selling author of Generation Kill and PEN award recipient.
More info:
Order Now or consider sending one as a gift

Fornits' Home for Wayward Web Forum Index » » The Troubled Teen Industry » » 2 deaths in 2 months  View   Hot Topics
Not logged in. Login.
Other related forums  
    Sort Up | Sort Down

Hot Topics
Search WWF
Private Messages
Watched Topics
Member List
Whos Online


Author 2 deaths in 2 months
Sorted in ASC Order  
Familiar Face

Joined: 2006-02-20
Posts: 39  Posted: 2006-03-31 01:12:00  
 I just learned today that there were 2 deaths in 2 months at the SummitQuest facility in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

Giavinni "Joey" Alteriz, age 16, died from a prone face-down restraint.

James White, age 17, died of natural causes, according to ViaQuest. His death has been kept quiet.

SummitQuest is part of the ViaQuest programs. Does anyone know if ViaQuest is associated in any way with Vision Quest.

Articles have been added to the website. You can find the link on the front page, along with a video clip.

And here is the ViaQuest site:

Here is a link to the preliminary review done by the Pennsylvania Protection & Advocacy, Inc.

[ This Message was edited by: MomCat on 2006-03-31 01:13 ]

                Annoy      DEL/BAN      Stick
Post URL: ... t=0#184494
Familiar Face

Joined: 2006-02-20
Posts: 39  Articles
Posted: 2006-03-31 01:55:00  
 Initial autopsy: Restrained teen was suffocated
Lancaster New Era (PA)

Publication Date: February 9, 2006


Initial autopsy findings show that a teen who died in Ephrata over the weekend suffocated while being held down, the attorney for the teen's parents said today.
Giovanni Aletriz, 16, of Allentown, died Saturday.

He was a resident of SummitQuest Academy, a facility that treats boys with mental health and sex offender problems.
His death was the second one in two months at the behavioral treatment center.

Aletriz was taken to Ephrata Community Hospital after he became ill while being restrained by SummitQuest staff due to disruptive behavior, according to Ephrata Borough Police, who are investigating the death.
He died at the hospital a few hours later.

His family hired an independent forensic pathologist, Dr. John Shane, to attend the teen's autopsy Tuesday.
Their attorney, Peter Karoly of Allentown, held a press conference today to announce the preliminary findings of that autopsy.

Aletriz's death "most likely resulted in the victim being held in a face down position forcefully," Karoly said today.
Lancaster County Coroner Dr. G. Gary Kirchner reiterated a statement he made earlier this week that no ruling has been made in Aletriz's death because drug and tissue tests are still pending.

"We have no position whatsoever," Kirchner said.
"We have listed it as pending."

SummitQuest officials did not return calls for comment by press time.
Karoly agreed that further tests need to be done, but said initial findings are indicating the teen suffocated.

Aletriz suffered a number of injuries consistent with that finding, Karoly said.
The autopsy showed evidence of a traumatic injury to the left side of the teen's head, chest compression, lesions inside his shoulders, and bleeding near his shoulder blade, in his ribs and in his spinal area, the attorney said.

The teen, who was 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 260 pounds, also had bite marks on his lips and tongue and stomach material in his nose, also indicators that he suffocated, Karoly said.
SummitQuest officials told Aletriz's parents he died from congestive heart failure, Karoly said.

Aletriz's mother previously said her son recently underwent an electrocardiogram, which did not uncover problems.
Aletriz had lived at SummitQuest about three months.

He had been diagnosed as being bipolar and had struggled with anger problems, his mother said.
"I think the fact that this young man, age 16, died in such a horrible way is outrageous on the heels of the death in December, just two months ago," Karoly said.

"We have heard rumors that things aren't well at SummitQuest Academy and will be conducting a thorough investigation."
Another SummitQuest resident, James White, 17, of Philadelphia, died Dec. 12.

An autopsy conducted here showed he had an enlarged heart and died of natural causes.
State Department of Public Welfare officials visited SummitQuest after White's death and found no wrongdoing.

Public welfare officials also visited SummitQuest officials earlier this week to look into Aletriz's death.
Earlier this week, SummitQuest officials released a statement saying the staff follows a crisis management procedure developed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's West Psychiatric Institute.

The techniques include ways to safely use manual restraint in the presence of a nurse.
Manual restraint is used only when a resident poses a risk of harm to himself or others, the statement said.

Family Seeks Answers in Boy's Death

Story posted on 2006-02-09 19:06:00
A 16 year old Allentown boy is found dead at a treatment center, and tonight, investigators say they're treating it as a potentially criminal act. Family and friends remember a young man many call a "gentle giant."

WFMZ's Carl Madonna joins us live from Dieruff High School in Allentown with more. Carl?

Here at Dieruff there was a moment of silence today to remember a classmate and a friend.

Students here like many are demanding answers tonight about how this 16 year old boy died where he turned for help.

16-year-old Joey Alteriz died Saturday at the Summit Quest Academy in Lancaster County.

Police say he died from cardiac arrest after being restrained by Academy employees.

Preliminary autopsy reports say Joey died from Asfixia.

Peter Karoly:
14:31:17 "...indicating heavy positioning of Joey Alteriz face down, also traumatic injuries about the shoulder, right lower abdomen, indicating compression and forcefully being maintained in a face down position."

News of Joey's death sent shockwaves through Dieruff High School where Joey was loved.

Katie Scehler:
4:14 "...Giovanni was a really great person, he was always there for anybody if they had a problem, he's was a big sweetheart."

Robert Woolf:
9:33 "...his boiling point would take a long time, I don't think he would get mad right away and if he did lash out it would be from anger from a lot of things."

The Lancaster County coroner is waiting for results from tissue and organ samples.

We spoke with Dr. Richard Grala, the Director of Summit Quest..he said, "...summit quest academy is involved in an internal investigation and it fully cooperating with local and state authorities to help them with their investigations. At Summit Quest we utilize a comprehensive crisis management procedure developed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Western Psychiatric Institute."

Cynthia Allen:
14:44:55 "...I didn't send my son away to get killed, I never in a million years planned to have my sons funeral."

Lehigh County officials say they will suspend referrals to Summit Quest until this investigation is complete.

Two months before this incident another boy died at Summit Quest. His name was James White. We're told police in Ephrata are still investigating his death. We're live in Allentown, I'm Carl Madonna, 69 News.

Police: Teen dies after reportedly being restrained

The Associated Press
February 8, 2006

EPHRATA, Pa. - A teen living at a behavioral treatment center died after reportedly being restrained for disruptive behavior, police said.

Giovanni Aletriz, 16, of Allentown, may have gone into cardiac arrest Saturday after employees at SummitQuest Academy restrained him, said Ephrata police, who were investigating. He later died at a hospital.

His death was the second one at SummitQuest in less than two months. Another resident, James White, 17, died in December of what the county coroner determined was natural causes.

Giovanni's mother, Cynthia Allen, told the New Era of Lancaster that she suspects he was restrained improperly.

"My son had a strong heart and shouldn't be dead. There's no reason a 16-year-old should die of a heart attack," she said. The family has hired an independent pathologist, she said.

Stacey Ward, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, said the agency visited the facility Monday but had not completed its investigation.

A police news release said "reports are" that Giovanni had been restrained before he died. The police referred questions to Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro, who declined to comment about whether the boy had been restrained.

SummitQuest's parent company issued a statement saying information about the treatment of people in their care is protected by privacy laws.

"On the subject of the use of restraint in general, at SummitQuest Academy, we utilize a comprehensive crisis management procedure ... (that) includes techniques designed to safely use manual restraint in the presence of a nurse," according to ViaQuest Behavioral Health Pennsylvania regional director Christopher Grala.

The 129-bed facility treats boys with psychiatric and behavioral problems, including "sexually abusive or sexually problematic behaviors", the company said.

Ward said there was no restraint involved in White's death. Lancaster Coroner Gary Kirchner said White had an enlarged heart.

On the Net:


Information from: Lancaster New Era,

2nd teen death at facility probed

Lancaster New Era (PA)

Publication Date: February 7, 2006



State and local officials are investigating the Saturday death of a 16-year-old boy who was a resident of a behavioral treatment facility in Ephrata.

The boy's death was the second in two months at the residential facility, SummitQuest Academy, which cares for mentally ill and sexual offender teens and pre-teens.

The Ephrata Borough Police Department is investigating the matter, and plans to turn its findings over to the Lancaster County District Attorney's office.

Also, state Department of Public Welfare officials visited the facility Monday, a routine occurrence after such a death, a department spokeswoman said today.

Giovanni Aletriz, 16, of Allentown, died Saturday at Ephrata Community Hospital.

He may have gone into cardiac arrest after being restrained by the staff at SummitQuest for disruptive behavior, according to a press release from the Ephrata Borough Police Department.

The boy's parents have hired an independent pathologist, who planned to attend the boy's autopsy today at the county morgue, his mother said today.

"My son had a strong heart and shouldn't be dead," said Cynthia Allen of Allentown.

"There's no reason a 16-year-old should die of a heart attack."

The boy coincidentally had undergone an electrocardiogram of his heart just last week, which turned up no underlying problems, his mother said.

"In my opinion, he was restrained wrong," she said.

Aletriz's death follows the death of James White, 17, of Philadelphia, a SummitQuest resident who died from heart problems Dec. 12.

Aletriz's mother said she heard that White died after exercising in the gym at SummitQuest.

An autopsy done here showed that White had an enlarged heart and died from natural causes, Lancaster County Coroner Dr.

Gary Kirchner said today.

An enlarged heart sometimes causes heart-rhythm problems.

Public welfare department officials also looked into White's death, said spokeswoman Stacey Ward.

She did not know the outcome of that inquiry at presstime.

SummitQuest Academy has operated the facility, just off Route 272 in Ephrata, since 2001.

The company operates behavioral and mental health facilities for teens and adults in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Its Ephrata facility can treat up to 129 teens and pre-teens who have problems with mental health, sexual offenses and sexually inappropriate behavior.

Officials at the facility did not return calls for comment by presstime today.

Allen said her son went to SummitQuest about three months ago for treatment of mental health problems.

He was diagnosed as bipolar when he was 14 and had struggled with his anger, she said.

She said her son was a large teen, standing 6 feet and weighing 260 pounds.

He did not have a history of cardiac problems, she said.

However, he recently had complained of chest discomfort during exercise, which is why he had the EKG that turned up no abnormalities, she said.

SummitQuest officials told Allen that two people restrained Aletriz on the day he died, before he became ill, she said.

They did not call her until 45 minutes after he was taken to the hospital, she said.

"They could have let him go, put him in a room, anything," she says.

"'Get off me, I can't breathe' ? that's what I keep hearing my son say in my head."

                Annoy      DEL/BAN      Stick
Post URL: ... t=0#184497

Prolific contributor

Joined: 2002-08-19
Posts: 2856
From: Texas
Posted: 2006-03-31 05:50:00  
I haven't found a connection with VisionQuest yet. Search the principal players

Richard Johnson, ViaQuest President
Chris Wolf, ViaQuest?s vice president

with VQ. In the meantime: ... A1-01.html

Group-home operator faulted
State unhappy with care given to troubled children, but ViaQuest disputes allegations
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Encarnacion Pyle
Group homes in jeopardy

The state has moved to strip a private company?s certification to run 15 group homes for troubled children, including a West Side home where an autistic boy drowned in a bathtub.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says Via-Quest Behavioral Health has violated several state rules, including leaving two boys unattended, allowing one to sexually abuse the other.

The state faults ViaQuest for allowing a maintenance man into a girl?s bedroom unsupervised, restraining children without immediately telling their parents or legal custodians, and altering medication or failing to give it to youngsters. The agency also says ViaQuest didn?t comply with a corrective-action plan created after the death of Kasey Warner, a 13-year-old Westerville boy who was found face down in 10 inches of water in a bathtub on Oct. 8, 2004.

"These are kids with serious problems," said Rick Smith, deputy director of the department?s Office for Children and Families. "They didn?t get into ViaQuest for nothing. We have to protect them from acts that could result in further abuse, including death, injury, illness, neglect or exploitation."

ViaQuest officials said they take the most troubled, hardestto-treat children no one else wants, which might account for some of the problems.

"We deal with the toughest kids around with the most significant emotional, behavioral and psychiatric issues," said Richard Johnson, founder and president of the Dublin-based company. "Incidents happen, but we self-report everything to the state, which makes us look bad."

The company disputes some of the claims.

"We admit that in a couple of instances two boys over the age of 16 were left alone ? five minutes here, 10 minutes there ? and found their way to a bathroom where they had some kind of sexual contact," said Chris Wolf, ViaQuest?s vice pres- ident. "The staff clearly didn?t do what they were trained (to do) and we fired them. But we disagree that the child was sexually exploited."

Last month, the state notified ViaQuest it was revoking its certification, as well as denying its application to add two homes for 10 more children.

Job and Family Services certifies group homes every two years. ViaQuest?s certification expired in December, and the company had applied to be recertified.

ViaQuest can serve up to 65 youths in 15 homes in Columbus, Mentor, Painesville, Westerville and Willoughby. The company also has group homes and a 129-bed treatment center in Pennsylvania.

It has appealed the revocation, opening the door for a hearing. If it loses, the Ohio child-welfare agencies that send children to the company will have to find other group homes for their children.

Franklin County Children Services has 28 children in Via-Quest?s care. Last year, it paid the company $3 million to care for 331 kids at various times.

"I believe they are committed to providing the best services they can," Executive Director John Saros said. "But they?ve had some problems with inconsistencies."

Caseworkers have determined that the 28 children are safe, Saros said.

The agency has been working closely with ViaQuest since the boy drowned. A worker left the boy alone in the bathroom for more than an hour. Children Services said the boy was never to be left out of sight.

The worker found Warner in the tub lifeless at 4:45 a.m. He said he immediately called 911, but police records indicate the call was made at 5:37 a.m.

The teen?s parents settled a wrongful-death lawsuit against ViaQuest in October but can?t discuss the case because they signed a confidentiality clause, their attorney said.

"Every time we?ve beared down on ViaQuest, they?ve done what we have asked," Saros said.

But others question Via-Quest?s track record.

"There is no advocate or oversight for these kids," said Christopher Shaffer, principal at Alum Crest High School, which serves Columbus students with behavioral problems. "They?re out of sight, out of mind, and ViaQuest knows it."

He said the ViaQuest teens who attend his school often come to class distraught and wearing ill-fitting clothes.

"To say the homes are deplorable would be kind," said Shaffer, who worked in a residential treatment center for troubled children in Dayton for 12 years before coming to Alum Crest two years ago. "ViaQuest gives the kids substandard care with little to no psychiatric treatment, positive rewards or social outlets."

School officials have filed several complaints with Children Services related to Via-Quest, including concerns about youngsters being hurt while restrained.

ViaQuest officials said they work with the children every day in individual and group counseling and link them to community services, such as anger management.

"We ask them how their day was, if anything set them off and what we can do to help them cope with problems that arise," said Mitchell Snyder, the company?s state director.

A northeastern Ohio man whose daughter lived in a Via-Quest home for several months last year described the company as having "noble goals but incompetent staff."

"It always seemed to me they were an organization that meant well but weren?t capable," said Michael Ratcliffe, of Painesville.

During her stay, his daughter, now 18, had sex with a maintenance man and repeatedly ran away. Twice, a retired park ranger pulled her from dangerous situations: Once, he found her in a crack house. Another time, she was in a seedy apartment with older men who were trying to talk her into making sexually explicit videos, Ratcliffe said.

"My fear has always been that the more time she is on the streets, the more likely she?ll end up in jail or dead," he said. "I?m so worried she?ll have a short, very painful life if she doesn?t get the treatment she needs. These places are nothing more than glorified warehouses."

In January, the state cited ViaQuest for allowing a child who had threatened suicide to take an unsupervised smoke break. The girl found broken glass outside and cut herself. The company waited until the next day to take the girl to an emergency mental-health treatment center. Last year, the company got in trouble because several children were hurt while being restrained.

In addition, ViaQuest has been cited for allowing maintenance issues to build up. In one case, inspectors smelled urine in a spare bedroom and the home?s heating registers.

A teen living at the company?s Pennsylvania treatment center died in February after being restrained for disruptive behavior. ... t=0#184506

Prolific contributor

Joined: 2002-08-19
Posts: 2856
From: Texas
Posted: 2006-03-31 06:29:00  
 From the Prez in 2000 when VBH took over the warehouse:

A treatment organization turnaround: how an administrative services firm worked to rescue a troubled adolescent treatment facility. (Case History).
Source: Behavioral Health Management: Nov-Dec, 2001 issue
Author(s): Johnson, Richard
Related Topics: Behavioral medicine (Services)
Health facilities (Management)
Geographic Ref.: Pennsylvania

Some in behavioral healthcare believe that you are defined by how you react to change. I believe you are defined by how you lead change, which we attempted to do when ViaQuest Behavioral Health assumed the management of SummitQuest Academy in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Beginning in March 2000, our charge was to transform a problem-plagued adolescent residential treatment facility then known as The Terraces into an effective operation. Expectations were high from the outset. Everyone needed us to succeed, including the state of Pennsylvania, which was considering closing the facility; a community that was fed up with the facility's ongoing interactions with police; and, most importantly, the kids who remained at the facility.

At first, the challenge appeared daunting. The Terraces had been cited for numerous violations and had failed on three occasions to win license renewal from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. There were issues involving overcrowding and patient treatment methods. Agencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the City of Philadelphia, had stopped sending referrals to the facility, which as a result suffered from a sinking reputation and declining employee morale. The potential for closure by the state was very real, indeed.

We were determined to make SummitQuest Academy a top-notch organization as soon as humanly possible. Among our first steps was to appoint Lee Balser, a highly experienced residential treatment facility manager, as interim executive director of SummitQuest. This gave ViaQuest an immediate on-site management presence that proved extremely helpful, and I've tried to spend as much time at SummitQuest as possible. Together, we work hard to introduce SummitQuest employees to ViaQuest's mission and values.

We made some management changes and completely reasessed all staff positions, although most staff remained in place. We devoted considerable attention to employee morale and performance, and worked at instituting meaningful training programs for management and staff. We also added incentives like "Go For The Gold," a program that rewards staff for service above and beyond the normal call of duty. Morale has improved significantly, and staff turnover has declined by more than 20%.

We also reduced the budget by $600,000, achieved numerous operating efficiencies and sought alternate funding sources. We increased the daytime staff-to-resident ratio from a state-mandated 1.8 to 1.6 and, in some instances, to 1.4. We also hired a licensed psychologist as director of clinical services and a board-certified psychiatrist as medical director.

Another key change was to narrow the focus of services. SummitQuest is now a long-term, staff-secured residential treatment program for 129 adolescent males aged 10 to 19 with mental health and/or behavioral issues, but initially ...

[One must sign up for membership to read the rest of the article] ... 067-1.html

Oh looky, you can buy it at Amazon for %5.95 ... e&n=551440

[ This Message was edited by: Deborah on 2006-03-31 06:34 ]

                Annoy      DEL/BAN      Stick
Post URL: ... t=0#184510
Dedicated Inactivist

Joined: 2001-12-14
Posts: 10374
From: Silicon Hollow
 Posted: 2006-03-31 07:32:00  


No child should be abused or neglected for the sake of profit

Teens and pre-teens have testified to being abducted, then
incarcerated, abused, and neglected in for-profit private
residential facilities, boot camps, wilderness programs, and
boarding schools, as well as state-funded juvenile justice
facilities ... an industry that is largely unregulated


Pennsylvania Protection & Advocacy, Inc.

Review of SummitQuest Academy

Residential Treatment Facility

Ephrata, PA

I. Introduction

Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PP&A), the non-profit organization designated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to federal law to protect the rights of and advocate for adults and children with disabilities, conducted a thorough investigation of SummitQuest Academy (SummitQuest), a residential treatment facility for youngsters with serious emotional disorders, in response to allegations of abuse and neglect of the youngsters in its care.

Based on our review, it appears that SummitQuest inappropriately restrains the youth in its care in lieu of appropriate behavioral interventions, resulting in both abuse and neglect. PP&A recommends that the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which is responsible to license SummitQuest, intervene to: (1) require SummitQuest to move to a restraint-free environment and to implement alternative approaches to address behavioral issues, and (2) have an independent child psychiatrist evaluate SummitQuest residents to determine whether it is the appropriate environment to meet their needs and to provide alternative options to those residents for whom SummitQuest is determined to be an inappropriate placement and those who desire alternative options.

II. What Is SummitQuest?

SummitQuest is a 129-bed residential treatment facility located in Ephrata, Lancaster County. Currently operated by ViaQuest, SummitQuest is licensed by DPW?s Office of Children, Youth, and Families and its Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. SummitQuest has four treatment programs for adolescent and pre-adolescent males who have primary psychiatric disorders and difficulties in functioning in the community due to behavioral or emotional programs. Two of the four treatment programs focus on adolescents and pre-adolescents with histories of reactive sexually abusive or sexually problematic behaviors. The per diem rate for placement -- which is primarily funded through the Medical Assistance program -- is approximately $260.

III. What Triggered This Investigation?

On December 14, 2006, PP&A received an incident report from DPW that indicated that, J.W., a 17-year-old resident of SummitQuest, died on December 12, 2005. The report indicated that he collapsed following a gym class at 7:36 p.m. and was taken to a community hospital, where he died at 8:25 p.m. Although the death has been attributed to the youth?s enlarged heart, PP&A had been unable to secure the autopsy report nor had it been able to determine whether SummitQuest should have been aware of the youth?s condition.

On February 7, 2006, PP&A received an incident report from DPW that indicated that G.A., a 16-year-old resident of SummitQuest, had died on February 4, 2006. According to the report, the youth was verbally threatening staff and ?violently jumping toward female staff?s face.? As a result, staff escorted the youth to a room at 3:53 p.m. Staff reported that they could not safely maintain an escort in the room due to the youth?s struggling. Staff thus initiated a restraint and notified nursing staff who arrived at approximately 3:56 p.m. At the 10-minute mark (4:03 p.m.), staff initiated a switch-out. At this time, the resident became limp and unresponsive. Staff called 911 and another nurse. Paramedics arrived at 4:13 p.m., and the resident was transported to the community hospital at 4:34 p.m. SummitQuest reported to DPW at 7:35 p.m. that the resident died.

Based on these reports of the deaths of two young males while in SummitQuest?s care and custody, PP&A had probable cause to conclude that abuse and neglect, i.e., inappropriate restraints and inappropriate care, had occurred at the facility and that further investigation was warranted to assess whether there are systemic issues at the facility that place the residents at risk of abuse and neglect.

III. Scope of PP&A?s Investigation

PP&A undertook a number of steps to assess the care and treatment provided to residents at SummitQuest, focusing on issues relating to restraints. Those steps included the following:

? PP&A interviewed Ellen Whitesell of DPW?s Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF), who was acting to coordinate the reviews of SummitQuest by DPW?s OCYF, Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP), and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and Pennsylvania?s Department of Health (DOH).

? PP&A interviewed with Orlando Hernandez, of DOH?s Division of ICFs, which is responsible under Medical Assistance law to survey DPW-licensed Medical Assistance programs, such as Summit-Quest, to assure their compliance with federal regulations for psychiatric residential treatment facilities (42 C.F.R. §§ 483.350-483.376).

? PP&A requested and received records concerning DPW?s actions following G.A.?s death.

? PP&A reviewed DOH?s results of its survey of SummitQuest.

? PP&A conducted a site visit of SummitQuest on March 8, 2006, during which PP&A staff interviewed administrative staff, reviewed the files of J.W. and G.A., interviewed 45 residents using a standardized interview format, and informally met with residents during lunch.

IV. Findings of PP&A?s Investigation

Based on our investigation, PP&A has identified the following relevant facts concerning the care and treatment of youth at SummitQuest.

? G.A.?s death was the subject of investigations by the Ephrata Police, Lancaster County Children and Youth, DPW, and DOH.

? Eight or nine SummitQuest residents were removed from the facility following G.A.?s death.

? As a result of its investigation, DPW?s Office of Children, Youth, and Families banned admissions to SummitQuest on February 17, 2006, though it appears that such a ban will be lifted.

? DPW?s Office of Children, Youth, and Families has recommended that DPW place SummitQuest on a provisional license, which would generate closer oversight and monitoring, but that recommendation is currently under review by DPW?s Office of Legal Counsel.

? DOH?s survey of SummitQuest concluded that the quality of service was ?unacceptable? and recommended that DPW OMAP initiate an action to terminate SummitQuest?s eligibility for participation in the Medical Assistance program, and, concomitantly, its Medical Assistance funding, within 90 days (known as a ?90-day termination notice).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Offline Sentinel

  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 10:11:00 PM »
On 2006-04-05 19:23:00, Eudora wrote:

V.  Recommemendations

Based on our investigation, PP&A recommends that DPW, as the relevant licensing agency, take the following steps:

1. Prohibit SummitQuest from using prone restraints and any and all coercive techniques.

2. Require SummitQuest to adopt a sanctuary (i.e., non-physical) model of treatment.

3. Require SummitQuest to secure recommendations from an expert (e.g., Gordon Hodas) concerning how to provide trauma-informed care and proven and effective de-escalation techniques and to immediately implement such recommendations and to provide training to SummitQuest staff to enable them to implement the recommended care and intervention strategies.

4. Require SummitQuest to discontinue its use of a point/level system and to replace that system with strength-based individualized positive behavior plans for each resident.

5. Have an independent child psychiatrist evaluate each SummitQuest resident to determine whether SummitQuest is appropriate to meet his needs and, if not, to identify what services and supports the youngster needs.

6. Develop an appropriate discharge plan for those SummitQuest residents who (a) are determined not to need the level of care provided by SummitQuest, or (b) desire an alternative placement and whose placement at SummitQuest is not court-ordered. The discharge planning process should include families, counties, and independent advocates.

7. Establish a plan to decrease the census at SummitQuest within two years.

8. Establish a Youth and Family Advisory Board at SummitQuest to present concerns, make recommendations for change and growth, and monitor progress and restraint data. The Youth representatives should be chosen by their peers.

9. Increase SummitQuest�s residents� opportunities to access the world outside the facility, including a greater array of engaging and relevant leisure activities.

10. Require SummitQuest to prominently post information about rights and advocacy in all buildings, including all living units and schools.

11. Contract with an external independent advocate/s of at least one FTE to provide on-site advocacy and contact with youth, participation in discharge planning, monitoring for rights violations, compliance with training requirements, review of restraint data, etc.

12. Appoint a �master� to oversee the facility�s implementation of corrective action plans.

13. Maintain ban on admissions until implementation of recommendations as listed above.

March 22, 2006

sounds like the investigation got to the core of the problem.  in a perfect world #'s 1, 2, and 4 would be law for every program in the US/world.  at least PA is on the right track.  
im geussing theres no way SummitQuest will be able  or willing to comply, and will lose state funding and shut down eventually.  it might take another investigation or two but sooner or later this one will be toast. :wave: [ This Message was edited by: Sentinel on 2006-04-06 19:12 ]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
its fun to obey the machine\"

Offline Antigen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12992
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 01:13:00 PM »
Looks to me a whole lot more like all those meaningless consent orders, letterhead edits,  officer cake walking and other slight of mind that has so plague and pervaded this industry since the epoch days of CEDU and the Seed.

My guess is that we'll never see any significant progress in this area unless and until the general public cuts back on the suds and soap operas, quits taking lifesyle advice from idiots like Phil McGraw, Oprah and Virgil.

That's my sole purpose here. I really am dyed in the wool anti-coercion. My only objective in all of this is to help my fellow Americans off with the blinders.

(Click Here for full-screen version)

The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.
--Charles Robert Darwin, English naturalist

fka ~ Antigen
Drug war POW  
Straight, Sarasota
`80 - `82
return undef() if /coercion/i;[ This Message was edited by: Eudora on 2006-04-07 10:14 ]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes