Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Target of New Task Force

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the formation the Nursing Home Safety Task Force in response to a three-part Chicago Tribune investigation of nursing home abuse entitled “Compromised Care”, which reported on cases of alleged serious abuse of elderly and disabled nursing home residents.

The Nursing Home Safety Task Force will be headed by Michael Gelder, a senior advisor to Governor Quinn on health policy. The Task Force will include representatives from the Department of Public Health, Department of Healthcare and Family services, Department on Aging, Department of Corrections, Department of Human Services and the Illinois State Police.

According to a new federal report released by the General Accounting Office, Illinois has the nation’s second highest number of nursing homes that perform “most poorly” on quality of care measures. The newly formed Task Force will be examining current policies and procedures for ensuring the safety of residents. Governor Quinn has promised to ensure that Illinois’ nursing homes “offer a safe haven for residents, many of whom are among our most vulnerable and needy.” The Governor says the newly formed Task Force will be addressing the issue of nursing home abuse and neglect “with all deliberate speed.”

We applaud the formation of the Nursing Home Safety Task Force as a positive step towards ensuring the dignity and safety of nursing home residents.