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State revoking adult family home license

Tue., March 27, 2007

The state Department of Social and Health Services is revoking the operating license for an adult family home in Valleyford.

Pure Country Home Inc., owned by Deborah Leason, is under a stop placement order and could close within 30 days, state records show.

The action was taken after an inspector determined that the operator didn’t ensure that residents received medications as prescribed, the report said.

Additionally, several residents told the inspector that they were forced to accompany a caretaker on shopping trips to buy items for a day-care business that person is starting. One resident said she had been vomiting but was ordered to go anyway, according to the DSHS report.

Leason, however, said she feels she’s provided good care during the four years she’s been in business. She said she gave the DSHS more than 30 days’ notice that she planned to close the adult family home in order to start a new business. The agency responded by delivering the letter of enforcement to her on Friday, she said.

“It’s totally unfair what they’re doing to me and I’ve hired an attorney,” Leason said.

Leason has the right to request a hearing and argue her case, said Shirlee Steiner, a regional administrator for DSHS Region 1, which serves 11 Eastern Washington counties.

Region 1 has about 300 adult family homes, Steiner said, but it’s rare for the state to revoke any licenses.

“We take that action when we have serious concerns about the care in a home. Most of our providers are very good,” said Steiner who estimates that only a couple of homes are closed per year.

Adult family homes serve six or fewer residents, some offering highly skilled care in a home-like setting. Steiner said adult family homes are inspected every 15 months on average.

Lisa Legg, director of the Adult Family Home Association, a non-profit trade group, said the association provides education and resources to keep caretakers up to date on regulations and care issues.

She said the number of homes in Spokane County has remained constant over the past few years and that closures due to non-compliance with regulations are rare, although operators do opt to quit the business.

Pure Country Home’s five residents are remaining in the home temporarily, while the state and their families make other arrangements. In addition to the stop placement order, caretakers may not transport residents for any reason and the operator’s husband is prohibited from having any contact with residents.

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