NC halts new admissions to Carthage assisted-living center after viral video of slumped over worker ::


— An assisted-living facility in Moore County is unable to accept new residents until the facility has addressed some serious deficiencies found by state regulators, according to a letter sent to the agency last week.

Admissions to Tara Plantation of Carthage are suspended and the facility could be operating soon under a provisional license as part of a state plan to improve conditions at the center, which could lose its operating license if the agency is unable to comply with regulators’ demands.

In February, video of a Tara Plantation worker who was slumped over at the waist in a chair went viral after another employee shot the three-minute video. The slumped over worker was responsible for distributing medication to patients in the facility’s Alzheimer’s unit.

Tara Plantation employee

The video footage taken by the employee prompted officials in the Division of Health Service Regulation unit of the state Department of Health and Human Services to take a closer look at Tara Plantation’s operations in order to determine if the facility was not in compliance with state regulations.

“I ask that you and your staff act with a sense of urgency to bring Tara Plantation back into compliance,” Mark Benton, a deputy secretary at the state health department, wrote in a letter to Kathy Huffman, the owner and administrator at Tara Plantation.

In his letter, Benton said workers from his agency would make unscheduled visits to the facility to determine if its operations have improved.

“If it appears that demonstrative and lasting improvements have not been made, or if new issues are identified, staff could take more stringent enforcement action, up to and including revocation of your license,” Benton said in his letter.

According to state regulators, health workers found several violations, including missing drugs, unsafe handling of medication and lax drug diversion controls.

The video of a slumped over co-worker was taken around 5:30 in the morning during an overnight work shift.

The facility’s workers never explained why the worker was slumped over at her desk, but the employee who shot the video shared it with regulators who happened to be at the facility the next day. The worker said she was called into the office and office and fired.

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