Kalamazoo nursing home fined; renovation project changed amid investigation

Kalamazoo nursing home fined; renovation project changed amid investigation. (WWMT / Walter Smith-Randolph)

A Kalamazoo nursing home is facing severe penalties after a downsizing plan leads to a state investigation.

The Upjohn Care and Rehabilitation Center was hit with 17 citations from the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) office.

The investigation was launched after Upjohn's parent company informed residents about a downsizing and renovation project. Some of those residents felt they were being forced to move so they contacted Michigan LARA, which launched an investigation.

Upjohn then changed their plans in an effort to make residents feel more comfortable about the renovation project.

The LARA investigation found the nursing home was not compliant with state and federal standards.

A state ombudsman who advocates for nursing home patients says these changes would not have happened if not for concerned residents and family members.

“It does give our ombudsman program concern whenever there are citations in the facility but 17 citations is fairly significant for a complaint investigation and we're pleased to see that the enforcement remedies that are being proposed for the facility will help bring them in to compliance and provide the highest possible care for the residents that are being served at Upjohn,” Salli Pung, with Michigan’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, said.

A LARA spokesman points out that Upjohn has cooperated with the investigation and some of the violations were self-reported.

Jay Prince, President & CEO of Upjohn’s parent company Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, released the following statement:

Our highest priority is the safety, comfort and well-being of our residents. In that light, we’re distressed by the State’s report. The findings do not reflect our longstanding commitment to and record of excellence and compassionate care. Regarding the Upjohn facility, we’ve already taken proactive steps, including reaffirming our commitment to not evict anyone, and upgrading the facility over time. Beyond that, we are reviewing the State’s findings. If other changes are needed, we will make them; we are always prepared to improve our services to benefit our residents. If any findings are inaccurate, we expect to dispute them.
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