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Incidents at LifeQuest in Palmer, NE (Update)

Palmer, Nebraska

State Senator Lynne Walz Calls for Investigative Committee

The response to the incidents at the LifeQuest facility in Palmer, NE continues as elected Nebraska officials have taken notice of the reports. Senator Lynne Walz called for an Investigative Committee to examine the conditions and practices of State licensed facilities that continue to operate with a history of continuing and repeated violations.

You may read more about Walz's response and other coverage of it in her press release and adjacent articles linked below:

In the summer of 2017, concerns were brought up concerning the health and safety of residents living at the Life Quest facility at the Coolidge Center in Palmer, Nebraska. Life Quest was licensed as a mental health center. An inspection of the facility was done by Division of Public Health and the facility failed to meet the standards of the DHHS. This then led to an investigation of the facility where multiple violations were discovered, leading to the revocation of the facility's license.

  • On September 3, a U.S. military veteran died at Life Quest as a result of the facility's complete disregard of her health
  • Following her death, law enforcement launched an investigation into the facility.
  • On September 22, the Division issued an investigative report into the resident's death.
  • On October 5, the Division finally revoked Life Quest's license to operate as a mental health center

Disability Rights Nebraska continues to monitor the situation as it unfolds.

Below you can read the Inspection, Investigation, and Notice of Disciplinary Action:

Disability Rights Nebraska responded to news of the closure with a letter to Courtney Phillips, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Nebraska expressing grave concern about the deaths of two residents and the violations at the facility.

The letter can also be accessed here.

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Dear CEO Phillips:

While the Division of Behavioral Health’s three-year housing plan sits on the shelf, people are dying.  A sense of urgency is lacking. Yet this is not the first time the Department has been asked to act regarding this crisis.

In June and July of 2017, the Division of Public Health conducted an inspection of Life Quest at the Coolidge Center in Palmer, NE. This led to an 80-page report that identified widespread failures by the facility to provide for its residents’ basic needs. That lengthy report should have been enough for the Division to revoke the facility’s license and help residents find a safe place to live. Unfortunately, that report had little practical impact. In fact, it was only after a tragedy occurred and the involvement of law enforcement that the revocation wheels began to grind:

 

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