Former Administrator of Troubled Nursing Home Surrenders License

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on May 2, 2024 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights

image of justice scales and gavel in courtroom.Tara Behrendsen, the former administrator of a troubled Iowa nursing home, has voluntarily surrendered her license. The facility where Behrendsen was employed, Aspire of Gowrie in Webster County, was assessed with multiple serious violations following a 2022 state inspection. These violations included:

  • Failure to provide a safe environment for residents living at the facility
  • Inadequate staff training on identifying and preventing abuse of residents
  • Failing to conduct proper background checks of all employees at the facility
  • Failure to prevent improper sexual contact between residents

A news article reports that, in addition to charges against the facility, the Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators has also charged Behrendsen for violating the standards of her profession. Surrendering her license seems a moot point since Behrendsen’s license expired in December 2023. However, any future reinstatement will require proof that her return would benefit the public interest.

The care facility, under Behrendsen’s management, was cited for additional serious failures, such as not providing sufficient personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility also failed to correct previously identified deficiencies and violations. These issues have contributed to the troubled facility being added to the federal government’s list of special focus facilities. These facilities are considered among the worst in the nation. This designation follows multiple quality-of-care violations, including a recent incident where a resident choked to death. This singular event only emphasized similar past incidents and the ongoing failure to implement sufficient preventive measures.

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