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Investigating adult-care complaints

Posted at 9:13 AM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 11:47:18-04

The beating her daughter took is just one of the complaints a mother has about an adult rehabilitation services facility in South Lansing.

FOX 47 first told you about the attack on Carrie Noble Tuesday night. Wednesday FOX 47's Alani Letang dug deeper into the Turning Leaf Residential Rehabilitation Services.


Woman attacked at assisted living home


Since Tuesday's story aired. We've gotten several complaints from people who used to work at Turning Leaf. They claim the facility is not properly managed. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has several incident reports related to the eight units on Turning Leaf's Lansing campus where Carrie Noble was assaulted Monday night. LARA is the agency that investigates complaints about adult-care homes.

"For a while, it was pretty good, and then it just seemed to lax off that things weren't being done," said Cindy Noble, mother of Carrie Noble. Cindy Noble had her daughter Carrie at Turning Leaf Residential Rehabilitation services for three years, until Monday night's assault. She told Letang that she complained to the staff several times about things like her daughter not getting enough showers, and other problems.

Cindy said, "every time we take her home, every time we take her back from a visit, and I've had pictures and I've shown them pictures."  "What do they say?" Letang asked. "Nothing," answered Cindy.

The state investigated six complaints at the facility on 621 E. Jolly Road in 2016 and 2017. Five of them were determined to be violations. A staff member kicked a resident in the knee, one resident didn't get her medication as prescribed, and another had medical concerns that were not addressed by the staff.

The most serious incidents happened at the Elm Cottage building. One incident involved a resident who was known to harm herself. That resident snuck away from the staff and overdosed on her prescription medication. Another woman talked about committing suicide. The staff did not check on her and she tried to strangle herself with a string, according to LARA records.

Two other buildings, the Cypress, and Cedar cottages were found not in compliance with the facility's license renewal inspections last year, according to LARA records. All of the facility's eight buildings are currently licensed and operating legally. But that doesn't satisfy Carrie Noble's mother. "I think Turning Leaf needs to be investigated from the top right on down to the bottom because there are just so many things that are falling through the cracks," said Cindy.

Letang spoke with Turning Leaf's Executive Director Sami Al Jallad who said he has a low tolerance for employees who don't comply with the guidelines. He said he stands by the staff he hires. Although Carrie's mom said she doesn't have a problem with all the staff members she's done allowing her daughter to live at Turning Leaf.

"We thought it was going to be a great place, and it might be for other people," said Cindy. "In this case, it's not," added Danny Noble, Carrie's father.

Al Jallad told us Turning Leaf cooperates with all investigations and makes sure the families and the state have all the information they need. He said he wishes Carrie Noble a speedy recovery. And hopes the woman, Tracie Phillips, that attacked her gets the emotional support and treatment she needs.

Al Jallad went on to say in a press release that, "On behalf of Turning Leaf’s staff and Leadership Team, we offer a sincerely (sic) apology that this incident took place and wish Ms. Noble a quick and complete recovery. Turning Leaf is not a traditional assisted living facility but rather a behavioral health treatment provider that has, for the past 20+ years, provided safe and nurturing housing and treatment services to adults who are living with complex mental health and physical health diagnoses. Our staff are trained to provide support in this regard and we believe that their response to the events that took place on April 23, 2018, were appropriate. While our investigation is not complete, based on staff interviews and eyewitness accounts we have thus far been able to gather that no less than five staff responded within seconds of the incident.

Given the protected health information involved, we are not in a position to disclose any additional information regarding the individuals or circumstances surrounding the incident. As with any sentinel event of this nature, which is rare, Turning Leaf’s Leadership Team has reported this incident to the regulatory stakeholders involved and will provide the information and cooperation necessary to ensure a thorough investigation. "

We also have new information about the attack on Carrie Noble that led to our investigation.

Phillips is accused of hitting her with a piece of PVC pipe. Turning Leaf tells us the pipe was being used as a dowel for a sliding door. The staff is now working to remove other items that could be used as weapons.

File a complaint with LARA