RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — A recently released state audit revealed that many Nevadans with severe mental illness were living in “unsanitary, unsafe” homes, some of which had mold, mildew, evidence of human waste and rodent droppings.
Governor Brian Sandoval vowed “the State can and will do better to ensure they have the opportunity to live healthy and happy lives.”
So what’s being done to fix the situation?
Late last week, Amy Roukie resigned from her role as administrator of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, according to Chrystal Main, a public information officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.
After learning of the conditions, Sandoval requested an emergency action plan, which DHHS director Richard Whitley sent Monday.
According to Whitley, all 142 homes in the state were inspected between January 18 and January 22, but inspectors determined no clients have to be removed because of immediate health and safety risks.
However, many providers were put on 10-day and 30-day corrective action plans, Whitley said.
Next steps include mandatory staff training on implementation of policies and procedures, documentation on unsafe or unsanitary practices and possible sanctions for non-compliant providers.
According to the action plan, inspectors are to submit a root cause analysis by January 26.
State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, a member of the state’s audits subcommittee, said the conditions were “totally unacceptable from a legal standpoint, a governmental standpoint and a human standpoint.”
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