Protection & Advocacy investigating 'flood of complaints' about WLRC

Today, Wyoming Protection and Advocacy announced that is participating in an on-going investigation into what it calls "deteriorating conditions" at the Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander. Additionally, P&A is calling on Gov. Matt Mead to "address the imminent risk to individuals residing there." The federally authorized agency has received "a flood of complaints" regarding health and safety concerns and the absence of active treatment at the WLRC, an intermediate care facility serving persons with disabilities, according to P&A Chief Executive Officer, Jeanne Thobro. Conditions have affected resident care including a lack of medical services, lack of meaningful activities, significant staff turnover, constantly changing management, and poor internal lines of communication with guardians of the WLRC residents. P&A invoked its federal serious and immediate jeopardy probable cause authority to conduct an investigation in view of the multiple complaints received from numerous sources regarding WLRC conditions. In an interview, Thobro emphasized the negative effect that significant turnover in both nursing staff and leadership have on WLRC clients. She said there appears to be no full-time physician and that the WLRC is relying on a "patchwork of providers." As far as care for clients, Thobro said P&A isn't seeing a high enough level of active treatment and a scaling back of activities for clients. When asked if the agency had information regarding any specific situations that directly and negatively affected the health of a client, she said yes, but declined to get into specifics. "The WLRC is one of the most costly institutions in the country and the money that is being poured into the institution should result in exceptional care and safe and humane treatment," Thobro said. She noted that there are a number of dedicated staff members at WLRC but "They need to be supported and adequately trained to do the job." The Wyoming Department of Health, which oversees the WLRC, was unable to immediately comment on the allegations. This is not the first time that P&A has called the facility out. In 2013, P&A pinged the WLRC for issues regarding unsafe environmental issues and for its use of restraints. #county10 #news