Nursing Home Owner Loses License: Allegedly Abandoning, Starving Patients

Timothy A Gruver

The former owner of Himalaya Adult Family Home is banned from working in long-term care ever again

A former Benton County nursing home owner has lost her license over allegations that she left elderly patients under her care to die, the Department of Health reports.

Yesenia Adi Chavez is accused of abandoning the residents of Himalaya Adult Family Home in Pasco where she worked as a nursing assistant and managed it as its owner, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Chavez has worked as a nursing assistant since 2011, the DOH reports.

On April 8, 2022, according to the DOH, Chavez allegedly transferred the residents of the home to another adult family home at the request of a patient who discovered her estranged husband was present at Himalaya in violation of a no-contact order.

Based on the DOH's statement of charges against Chavez, the move spurred the Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) to investigate claims of neglect and abuse. The DSHS investigation found at least three residents were left alone for days at a time, the DOH reports, and were allegedly given no access to food, personal hygiene, opportunities to exercise, or urgent medical assistance.

In November 2021, a cancer patient and resident of Himalaya was reportedly admitted to the hospital for sepsis due to an untreated wound, according to the DOH. The elderly woman was returned to the home and allegedly could not access any assistance from hospice, the DSHS's report found.

Her body went undiscovered for 12 hours after her final contact with Himalaya staff, the DOH reports. According to the DOH, the coroner reported their findings to the authorities and described the condition of her body, which contained multiple wounds and even maggots, as "deplorable."

On April 19, 2022, Kadlec Regional Medical Center reported that another patient from Himalaya was admitted to the center for neglect and extensive wounds where she remained for 23 entire days, the DOH alleges.

On June 7, DSHS and Adult Protective Services charged Chavez with neglecting a vulnerable, which became final on July 7 when Chavez was placed on the DSHS's long-term care abuse and neglect registry, the DOH reports.

The Secretary of Health indefinitely suspended Chavez's certified nursing assistance license in September, the DOH reports. She is banned from ever caring for or having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, according to the DOH.

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Timothy Gruver is a writer and reporter with experience in writing for mass media.

Olympia, WA

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