- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Admissions to the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital are on hold while investigators examine allegations that patients’ rights were violated.

Seventeen hospital staff members have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, Jennifer Smith, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health told the Kalamazoo Gazette (https://bit.ly/1snr9gO ). The department will continue looking into the allegations and respond with appropriate action, she said.

Although the hospital isn’t currently admitting more patients, it will still take information for potential admissions, Smith said.

Smith said it’s still unclear how many staff and patients were involved in the allegations.

“We have a budgeted number of staff, and as staff vacate positions we work to fill those as quickly as possible. In light of the recent suspensions, overtime will likely increase during the investigation, but we are working diligently to reach an appropriate resolution to ensure the safety of our patients and staff,” Smith wrote in an email.

James Coleman, the longtime director of the psychiatric hospital, resigned on June 30 after it was discovered that he failed to report the March death of a 68-year-old patient. The former director of nursing and a staff nurse were fired on the same day, and an associate director of nursing was disciplined.

The chief of clinical affairs also resigned after acting hospital director Cynthia Kelly filed a complaint that said a treatment plan he designed may violate patients’ rights.

The facility is one of three state hospitals in Michigan that provide adult inpatient psychiatric services. It has an average of 160 patients.

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Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, https://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

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