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AG: Medford nursing home aide guilty of lying about patient neglect

Yolanda Monsalvo is pictured in this undated photo.

Yolanda Monsalvo is pictured in this undated photo. Credit: NYAG

A nurse aide was found guilty of falsifying business records at a Medford nursing home to cover up patient neglect, prosecutors said on Thursday, joining other co-workers also convicted of various crimes.

Yolanda Monsalvo, 51, of Ronkonkoma, who worked at the Medford Multicare Center for Living, left her dementia patients with no supervision — and one of them broke an arm and suffered head injuries from a fall, officials said.

Last June, the firm and its owners paid $28 million to settle a lawsuit charging them with looting the nursing home, committing fraud and breaking the law in running a business, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

The corporation paid a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty to attempted falsifying business records, part of a coverup in the death of a 72-year-old patient, he said.

Monsalvo, now facing a maximum sentence of 4 years, was indicted in April 2016 for “lying in an investigation report” about another patient’s fall from a wheelchair, Schneiderman said in a statement on Friday.

The defendant was convicted partly due to video surveillance footage, which showed she left the building where she was supposed to be monitoring her patients, including the one who then fell, he said.

Monsalvo said she had only taken a short bathroom break but she asked no other staffers to monitor her patients during her absence, Schneiderman said.

“Nursing home caregivers are entrusted to provide the highest level of safety and care to our most vulnerable residents,” he said. “There are serious consequences for abandoning nursing home residents and then trying to cover up neglect.”

Monsalvo, who will be sentenced on Sept. 21, also risks having her state nurse aide certification revoked, he said.

Her employer agreed to a number of reforms in settling its civil lawsuit, including hiring full time skilled nurses and an independent operator, Schneiderman said.

The former employees involved in wrongdoing at the home include the administrator, who pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and willful violation of health laws, Schneiderman said.

Two respiratory therapists were convicted of causing and covering up the death of the 72-year-old patient on Oct. 26, 2012, he said.

Other employees were sentenced for charges including falsifying business records and endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, he said.

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