Pasadena officials express their displeasure at being excluded from the state process regulating nursing home licensing after one of their facilities was evacuated and their license suspended in June.
According to the city, Golden Cross Health Care at 1450 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Over 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus confirmed, 72 among residents and 32 among employees – and eight people have died.
The state health ministry plans to hold a hearing on the status of the facility in late August. Steve Mermell, City Manager at Pasadena, confirmed to City News Service that city officials didn't know about the hearing until a nursing home lobbyist asked them to write a letter of support to help them keep their license.
This request was emphatically rejected.
"I made it clear (to the lobbyist) that due to the owners' tremendous violations, any agreement they left on the spot was unacceptable to the city and was also due to our overconcentration of qualified care facilities in the city." We needed the beds not, "Mermell told the Pasadena Star News.
"I encouraged them to examine our updated general plan to find out what other higher and better uses there could be for the property," he added.
Attempts to contact officials of the Golden Cross and lobbyists for comment have been unsuccessful.
Deputy city administrator Nicholas Rodriguez was particularly dissatisfied with the lobbyist's hearing, according to Star News.
"It shows how broken the system is when the local authority is not an integral part of decision making," he told the newspaper.
In June, more than 60 patients were evacuated from the Golden Cross by order of the Attorney General due to various concerns about coronavirus protocols. The evacuated patients were relocated in private ambulances and none had to be hospitalized, said Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
"As of this past weekend, our fire chief and health officer were at the facility to examine patients," Derderian said at the time. "We reached the point last night (Thursday) where it was in the best interests of the health and safety of the residents to let them move out of the facility."
"We have been working with the various agencies for weeks," said Derderian. "We had our health department, our fire department, the police, the public prosecutor's office, the city administration. Some (the problems) are related to COVID, others are not."
Derderian said the city was "very proactive" in solving the problems in the city and "a lot of resources were provided because of our city's concerns … which meant we had to intervene"
"This facility did not provide most of the basic functions for the care of these patients, including adequate nutrition or water; safety not only against COVID but also against basic medical needs," said Derderian.
"City officials have repeatedly and tirelessly urged the state to respond to the information that we have been collecting for several weeks," said Derderian