Katrina Wesemann, a former nurse at Heritage Health: Therapy and Senior Care, a 92-bed, for-profit nursing home in Dwight, Illinois, was awarded $5.2 million by a jury in Livingston County, Illinois. In October 2012, Ms. Wesemann was fired for calling Heritage Health’s corporate hotline to report that she was being ordered to give residents higher than needed doses of anti-anxiety medications. The intended effect of overdosing residents on such medications is to control their behavior to ensure an easier work shift for nursing home staff. The orders, handed down by Heritage Health’s director of nursing, also included altering the medical records of residents to eliminate any notes pertaining to injuries they’d endured at the facility.
Nursing Home Staff: Truth Tellers Are Protected by Law
Heritage Health’s parent company, Heritage Enterprises Inc., is a medium-sized nursing home chain based in Bloomington, IL. The company’s website boasts of the owners: “Their vision is guided by their focus on keeping the best interest and well-being of the residents, their families and employees at heart.”