State cites facility for neglect

ROCHESTER (AP) — A facility that offers residential services for people with disabilities in southeast Minnesota has been cited by the state for neglect of a vulnerable adult and fined $5,000.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services alleges a resident’s gums grew over removable dentures over a period of almost three years while living at REM River Bluffs in Rochester, KSTP-TV reported.

The dentures had to be forcibly removed by a dentist in October, a department report said. A large tumor or growth was found on the person’s gums. The staff member who accompanied the person to the dentist believed the individual had a lower dental implant and wasn’t aware the dentures were removable.

The resident didn’t bring attention to the dentures because they liked having teeth in their mouth, the report said.

Turnover contributed to the individual not getting annual dental care as required, according to staff members at the facility.

Staff members have since received additional training to ensure the resident’s dentures are removed nightly and properly cleaned, the report said.

The company, which also offers services in Olmsted and Winona counties, self-reported the problem to the department and immediately sought dental care for the individual, said Pat Masyga, the facility’s executive director.

The company is “committed to providing quality of life enhancing services to the individuals we are privileged to support,” Masyga said.

REM River Bluffs has worked to improve its dental and medical care filing and medical audits, Masyga said. The company is also working to implement electronic records.

Proposal changes harassment policy

ST. PAUL (AP) — A bipartisan proposal to change Minnesota House rules would allow lobbyists, staff, members of the executive branch and the public to make discrimination and harassment complaints to the Ethics Committee.

DFL Rep. John Lesch and Republican Rep. Marion O’Neill also proposed an expedited investigative process that allows confidentiality for accusers. A person could lodge a complaint anonymously, but would be under oath.

The rule changes follow the resignations of two lawmakers over sexual misconduct allegations. DFL Sen. Dan Schoen and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish announced their resignations after a string of sexual harassment allegations against them surfaced last month.

The Star Tribune says the rule changes would need the support of the Republican majority to take effect when the legislative session begins in February.