DCH: Facility in Hephzibah was an unlicensed personal care home

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Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- A facility in Hephzibah has been found to be operating as an unlicensed personal care home after an investigation by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Media Relations Manager Pamela A. Keene said.

News 12 received documents connected to a petition for an inspection warrant for an unlicensed personal care home uncovered last month in Hephzibah.

The Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division received a complaint that 18 people were living in a four bedroom home used as an unlicensed facility, the document said. The facility was operated by Tamika Burns.

Some people in the home slept on the floor and there were rooms that didn't have air conditioning, according to the complainant. The complainant also alleged a resident in the home who used a wheelchair was bathed outdoors with a water hose.

Staff also prepared meals and dispensed medication for the residents, according to the complainant. Residents were taken to the local food stamp office to apply for benefits that were then handed over to the facility owner.

Compliance auditor Rachel Barevich said she spoke with two people at a mental illness day treatment program on July 29, according to the affidavit. One person lived in the homein question and the other person said they've lived there before. The two told Barevich that "Mr. Rickey" kept their medication locked up and "supervised them in taking their medication."

On July 31, DCH and a Richmond County marshal visited the home for an inspection and were not allowed in after a man named Rickey Stephenson said he wouldn't let them in without a warrant, according to the petition.

Burns was denied a licenses to operate a personal care in the past, DCH said.

A warrant was authorized on Aug. 14. The warrant was served on Aug. 20.

The home has six rooms that include three bedrooms, two baths and is approximately 1,833 square feet, county tax records show.

All documents mentioned can be seen here.

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