Foster Creek victim ‘wasn’t given fighting chance’


Some victims' families frustrated with slow response

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the wake of the Foster Creek nursing home’s suspension, some victims’ family members want to know why the state did not act faster.

The Department of Human Services suspended the facility’s state license Tuesday. Twenty-eight residents of Healthcare at Foster Creek have died from the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Upon suspending Foster Creek’s license, eleven remaining residents were in the process of being relocated by DHS; ten were moved to hospitals and one was taken to a private residence.

As of Tuesday, 117 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to the outbreak at Foster Creek. Richard Parker was the first COVID-19 casualty at the facility after succumbing to the virus on April 3 at the age of 73. His daughter Alicia told KOIN 6 News she was relieved DHS took action, but wished it could have happened sooner. She said staff at Foster Creek persuaded her not to send her father to the hospital.

Richard Parker (photo courtesy Alicia Parker)

“The second time it seemed like he was not going to recover from this,” Alicia said. “He had not gotten the care or treatment he should have. I don’t know if he would have recovered. I know this virus is strange but he definitely wasn’t given enough of a fighting chance.”

Alicia also told KOIN 6 News the staff at Foster Creek directly told her they did not have any COVID-19 protocols in place and that her father would not be isolated.

“It’s clear that it was far [more] mismanaged than even I knew or probably other families knew,” she said. “I think they should be closed if they can’t provide safety for their residents or basic care really.”

Healthcare at Foster Creek released a statement following the suspension saying it was disappointed in DHS’s actions but that its concern has “always been, and continues to be, the safety of our residents, our employees and the greater Oregon community.”

“Healthcare at Foster Creek stands ready, willing and able to assist the State of Oregon to care for citizens in need of skilled nursing care,” the facility said in a statement. “We believe our facility should serve as a model to show that only by working together are we able to overcome the challenges we face during this unprecedented moment.”

Meanwhile, DHS followed its order with a statement saying:

Richard Parker (photo courtesy Alicia Parker)

“We have worked on multiple strategies to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at Healthcare at Foster Creek and have concluded that moving all residents is mandatory at this stage,” said Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities, which licenses long-term care facilities. “Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19 at this facility and our focus now is on providing a smooth transition for residents and their families.”

“It seems like it was too late for my dad but its not too late for other people,” said Alicia. “It’s sad to me that its taken this many people to getting sick and dying and I think it really shows, exposes a lot of the underbelly of our nursing home system in this country.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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