State inspectors, police visit Tampa nursing home after Target 8 reports

Photo courtesy of Tonya Baker.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Target 8 reports prompted police and state inspectors to visit a nursing home in Tampa.

In November, we shared distressing photos of Willie Johnson, a 79-year-old patient at the Habana Health Care Center. His daughter, Tonya Baker told us she found him with a busted lip and a gashed forehead. Baker said his clothes were missing and food in his room had been sitting there for hours.

A month later, we reported the situation went from bad to worse. Tonya told us the nursing home called her to say her father fell and broke his hip.

We ended up digging up some reports and discovered that Medicare rates Habana Health Care Center are much below average.

A little over a week after our last report, Tampa police and Adult Protective Service visited Habana Health Care Center to check on Johnson. Police confirmed Adult Protective Services contacted them about possible physical abuse.

“From my understanding, they went in to question my Dad,” explained Ms. Baker. “My Dad can’t answer no questions.” She also says her father cannot feed himself or walk.

Baker says she is not upset with the state or the police, but she is very concerned the nursing home failed to notify her of the visit.

“I’m my Dad’s voice and my Dad’s guardian,” she said. “I would have felt Habana would have contacted me and let me know what’s going on.”

We later learned that days after we first reported about Jonson, the Agency for Health Care Administration showed up at Habana Health Care Center and found “the facility had outstanding deficiencies. Deficiencies that were discovered previously and not addressed,” said AHCA spokesperson Shelisha Coleman.

Consulate Health Care owns Habana Health Care Center. When we contacted them about the state’s investigation, their spokesperson Jennifer Trapp said,” Based on your report a few days ago, I don’t think we’ll be making any comment.”

The Agency for Health Care Administration said it takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all residents and to hold health care facilities that fail to do so accountable.

The Tampa Police Department told me it found no indication of physical abuse to Mr. Johnson, and they plan to follow up on his situation.

If you have a problem that you think should be investigated, call our Target 8 Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

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