Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Pensacola Cluster, its parent company National Mentor Healthcare (Mentor) and several of its employees regarding a February 2018 police investigation of a woman, age 23, that had been raped allegedly while under the care of the intermediate care facility for developmentally disabled adults and children.
Inweekly has learned that National Mentor Healthcare has a history of complaints, particularly in the foster care service industry. In October 2017 U.S Senate Finance released a report regarding its investigation into the privatization of foster care.
National Mentor Healthcare, one of the largest for-profit providers of foster care services in the United States, was used as a case study to highlight the problems that exist with the privatization of human services:
“In MENTOR’s case in particular, investigations into fatalities were never followed up after the fact; autopsy reports which were pending years ago were excluded from files; and the vast majority of children who died were not the subject of internal investigations, even when their deaths were unexpected. The MENTOR Network issued a report which falsely claimed that its death rates are in line with national death rates and the rates of death among all children in the foster care system. Moreover, families of these and other victims of inadequate care have received millions of dollars in financial settlements, significant enough for The MENTOR Network to receive less favorable terms from its insurer.”–U.S. Senate Finance Committee, “AN EXAMINATION OF FOSTER CARE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE USE OF PRIVATIZATION “
The Senate committee found the information collected showed that National Mentor Healthcare “repeatedly placed the health and well-being of children at risk.”
According to the recent lawsuit and law enforcement reports, Escambia Westgate School reported the unnamed victim, whose multiple mental and physical conditions made it impossible to communicate verbally, had bruising around her hips and exhibited behavioral changes in late January 2018.
Pensacola Cluster’s staff were notified on Feb. 1 of the injuries. The school called again on Feb. 5 and followed up the phone call with an email.
Pensacola Cluster allegedly failed to notify the Florida Adult Abuse Hotline or the victim’s physician of the injuries, according to the lawsuit.
A doctor examined the victim on Feb. 6, and she was taken to the hospital the following day for an x-ray that revealed her hip was broken. Before her surgery on Feb. 8, a routine pre-operational pregnancy test was administered, which indicated the victim was pregnant.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office was notified. The victim miscarried during the surgery.
According to the offense report, the ECSO investigation went nowhere. The report, which was heavily redacted, stated Pensacola Cluster only had five male staff members. DNA samples were taken from two of them.
The two men questioned told the investigator that they had bathed the victim on several occasions and the facility had no policy prohibiting male staff from bathing female patients without a female staff member present.
One said the facility had high turnover and frequently had new employees.
Major Andrew Hobbs told the PNJ, “We exhausted all leads, we have no suspects, and the case will be placed inactive. However, if we get any more leads, the case can always be reopened.”
National Mentor Healthcare is owned directly through National Mentor Holdings, Inc. by Civitas Solutions, Inc., which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock market observers expect Civitas Solutions Inc to post this week sales for the current fiscal quarter between $413.86 million and $415.22 million.
Last month, Civitas Solutions announced it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Centerbridge Partners, L.P. Under the terms of the agreement, Centerbridge would acquire all outstanding shares of Civitas common stock for $17.75 in cash per share of Civitas common stock, resulting in an enterprise value of approximately $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the rape victim, who lived at the Pensacola Cluster since she was 15, is no longer under the care of the facility, National Mentor Healthcare and Civitas Solutions.