Nursing home company responds to mold investigation - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nursing home company responds to mold investigation

Posted: Updated:

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Facebook

CORDOVA, TN  (WMC-TV) - A nursing home at the center of a health department investigation said Tuesday their facility is safe for residents and staff.

The response comes amid new allegations that the facility's management should have known about the mold problem nearly a year before Monday's surprise Tennessee Department of Health inspection.

Theresa Jarvis, a former director of nursing at Grace HealthCare of Cordova, gave Action News 5 photos that appear to reveal a moisture problem so bad at the facility that the ceiling collapsed.

"Before the ceiling fell, we were able to get one patient out, but the second patient was in there when the ceiling fell," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said she took the photos of a patient's room after the ceiling caved in on the patient.

"Everything in the room was destroyed," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said several weeks before the ceiling collapsed, she noticed what appeared to be mold in her office.

Sources from inside and outside Grace HealthCare of Cordova sent us photos that appear to show a significant mold problem.

"I kept noticing I was I having a lot of headaches," Jarvis said.

Experts say headaches are one of the symptoms of mold exposure.

"Randall McClellan, the administrator kept telling me, 'It's not mold, it's not mold.' I said, 'Well, it's something.' It just smelled mildewy," Jarvis said. "You could see it, because it traveled. It grew. It was growing up the wall, up the ceiling. It just wasn't in one spot."

McClellan issued a statement in response to our report:

"This past summer the management at Grace HealthCare of Cordova discovered during normal daily inspections that there were isolated areas of moisture within the nursing home that could cause air quality problems. Measures were taken to remove materials and treat these areas in accordance with government guidelines."

The statement also said that before the surprise inspection, Grace HealthCare of Cordova utilized an air handler to purify and ensure that the air was safe.

The air handler also removed the source of moisture. Company officials say their expert indicated the facility was safe for residents and staff.

The Tennessee Department of Health is continuing to investigate the mold issue at the facility.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow