More parents of disabled adults talk about Victorian philanthropy in the investigation center


One night in early 2018, Cyndie Bourke was working in Victoria, when she received a text message from her daughter Taryn: “I signed the document.”

According to the doctor’s assessment, Taryn is 32 years old, but suffers from a variety of complex diseases and has a low IQ. The estimated IQ is 40. The document she was referring to was a home care consent form operated by the Garth Homer Society (GHS), which would allow it to act as her representative in certain medical situations.

As Taryn’s legal representative, Bourke revoked her consent shortly before receiving the text message, fearing that she knew nothing about her daughter’s health.

According to the College of Nurses and Midwives of British Columbia, Victoria Weber, senior manager of GHS Health Services and Education, bypassed her authorized authority

“It was shocking to do this behind my back,” Burke, a registered nurse, told CBC News.

Webber’s behavior that day was included in a long list of reasons. The college suspended her nursing license for more than three years. According to the announcement. Nursing license of Euphemia (Phemie) Guttin, Executive Director of GHS Service Operations, Suspended at the same time.

Bourke was one of the three parents who complained about the two nurses and a former GHS employee, which led to a three-year investigation that exposed what the college described as “serious nature” of unprofessional behavior.

CBC News has now spoken to the three parents and heard the stories behind their complaints, including 21-year-old Katrina Lavery died of bowel obstruction Her mother Margaret Lafrey claimed to have not received treatment for several months under the care of GHS.

All three parents expressed concern about the hundreds of adults with developmental disabilities who are still attending GHS day courses and those who live in their remaining collective housing or may one day live in the proposed housing development.

They all stated that they were shocked to learn that Weber and Guttin were holding senior positions at GHS, and the leadership described them as “indispensable members” of the team.

“I just thought it was a joke,” Burke said.

According to the announcement, Guttin and Weber stated that they did not agree with all the college’s findings, but they agreed to receive disciplinary action, including requiring them to receive remedial education and supervision after returning to the nursing field.

Parents are marked as “difficult”

In a handling letter to Bourke on May 27, Tansey Ramanzin, a professional conduct review consultant at the college, described the results of her investigation of Weber and Guttin.

This includes Weber delaying Taryn’s medication and oxygen supply orders because she needs these due to occasional lack of oxygen. According to the letter, Weber also failed to ensure that the staff caring for Tarin had the appropriate skills and training in handling catheters, tracheostomy, and ventilators.

One thing in common in the handling letters to all three parents is that the college described Guttin and Weber as “aggressive communication”, and they “effectively prevented” the parents from seeing their children and advocating on their behalf.

In Bourke’s case, she said this meant that she could only conduct supervisory visits with Taryn.

“I have been taking care of her and defending her for all these years. Then when I knew Taryn needed someone to speak for her, I took these away from me…. This is for her. It’s just not safe,” she said.

When Cyndie Bourke tried to defend Taryn, she was put on a difficult label. (Submitted by Cindy Burke)

In each case, the college found that Guttin and Weber label their parents “difficult to get along with.”

For Edith Artner, GHS CEO Mitchell Temkin listed these characteristics in a letter dated March 14, 2018 in which he Warn her against “aggression, threats and/or violence against our employees.”

Atner said these allegations are false and insulting.The college’s handling letter confirms that Guttin and Weber “when you try to advocate [your son’s] maximum profit. “

“As the voice of my son, this is an effective attempt to keep me silent,” Atner said.

Her 24-year-old son is blind and unable to speak, and has complicated medical needs. The college discovered that he had scarred his cornea while receiving Guttin and Weber’s care — Artner said the damage was permanent — and had behavioral problems.

Atner said that although the medical report outlined his needs, he still gave him foods that he was allergic to. The processing letter stated that Weber played down Atner’s concerns about her son’s diet and did not connect him with the nutritionist when needed.

She added that her son’s 300 days under Garth Homer’s care had a lasting impact on him.

Atner said: “My son continued to show symptoms and injuries, and his mental health deteriorated to the point that he tried to jump out of the driving car.”

The social board has “serious concerns”

In a letter sent to families and caregivers earlier this month, GHS board chairman Chris Lovelace acknowledged that the college’s announcement “raised issues that might worry you,” but said the board’s investigation and findings of the college were “deeply Express concerns”.

“We are listening to legal advice on this situation and urge you not to rush to make judgments based on what may appear in the media or what may be heard in the community,” Lovelace wrote.

Community Living BC, the official agency that provides support for adults with developmental disabilities, also conducted an investigation after the death of Katrina Lavery, and cancelled the housing contract with GHS in May 2018, which led to A new non-profit organization urgently took over five housing providers overnight.

GHS has filed a lawsuit against the decision, claiming that the contract was terminated in error.

Registered nurses Victoria Weber (left) and Euphemie Guttin were suspended after an investigation found that they had unprofessional behavior in caring for disabled adults. (The Gas Homer Association.)

In a statement to CBC News on June 8, CEO Temkin described GHS’s program as “the world’s leading support of the highest quality” and said that the association recently completed a certification with the Rehabilitation Facility Certification Council (CARF) survey.

“For the second time in a row, there are no suggestions to improve our residential services,” Temkin wrote.

A statement from CARF Canada clarified that after the most recent investigation in April, it has not yet made a decision on the certification of GHS day courses, and that CARF has not certified GHS since the termination of the contract with Community Living BC in June 2018 Of residential courses.

When asked about this discrepancy, Temkin said that GHS asked CARF to review its remaining, uncertified collective housing during the investigation of the day program, and the investigator had no suggestions. A representative of CARF stated that they could not comment on this statement.

At the same time, the Garth Homer Society remains a partner in BC Housing’s ambitious Nigel Valley development program, which includes housing provided by a group of non-profit organizations.

In a statement last week, BC Housing stated that as the project progresses, it will negotiate with Community Living BC and Island Health.

The statement said: “We… will rely on their guidance before making any further decisions regarding the role of the Garth Homer Society in this development.”

Edith Artner’s son is a child in this family portrait and needs full-time care. (Submitted by Edith Atner)

For parents who filed complaints, their experience with GHS still lacks closure.

Artner hopes that Weber and Guttin will be prevented from working with disadvantaged groups like her son. “No apologies to those who were hurt by Ms. Weber or Ms. Gooding,” she said.

Both she and Bourke said they are grateful that their children are safe, unlike Katrina Lavery.

“I’m so grateful that Taryn is still alive. Nothing happened to her, just like another mother,” Burke said. “I am heartbroken for her.”



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