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Williston’s Good Samaritan Home Suspended After Neglect Cases

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By Cindy Swirko

After an investigation found more life-threatening problems at Williston’s troubled Good Samaritan Retirement Home, the state is issuing an emergency suspension order effective Saturday.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration — commonly referred to as AHCA — said the order is needed to protect the residents who live there.

Cited in the order are “unsafe and deficient practices that currently exist” and residents “being placed in an assisted living facility where the regulatory mechanisms enacted for residents protection have been repeatedly overlooked.”

Brian Lee, executive director of the assisted living watchdog group Families For Better Care, said AHCA’s decision was welcomed. Lee said the suspension effectively will close the facility.

“In two words — good riddance,” Lee said of Good Samaritan. “This is long overdue. There have been nearly a decade’s worth of infractions, deficiencies, sanctions, multiple residents’ deaths and several incidents of abuse and neglect.”

AHCA spokeswoman Shelisha Coleman said in an email that AHCA will work other other agencies, including the Florida Department of Children and Families, to safely relocate residents.

Two Good Samaritan administrators were arrested last week by Williston Police. Nenita Alfonso Sudeall, 48, and Rhaimley Yap Romero, 31, were charged with elderly neglect in separate incidents.

An AHCA inspection of Good Samaritan on Dec. 15 after the arrests found a number of violations of state requirements for care at assisted living facilities.

A resident was taken to the emergency room while AHCA staff were at Good Samaritan. Before that, the resident refused to take prescribed psychiatric medicine or eat for several days. The refusal was not passed on to the resident’s health care provider.

Several other residents refused to take prescribed medication and that was not passed on to their health care providers.

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