Police, DHS confirm new investigation into abuse allegations at assisted living facility

Faith Gardens.jpg
Faith Gardens

Sun Prairie police confirm they are working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on an investigation into allegations of abuse at an assisted-living facility where a woman was found dead in December.

Sgt. Ryan Cox told News 3 that allegations of abuse at Faith Gardens Memory Care were reported to police Monday. Cox said investigators have been working to substantiate the abuse allegations.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services confirmed that the agency has a survey underway in response to a complaint. No further details were available on the nature of the complaint or the results of the survey.

Alice McGaw, 84 was found dead outside Faith Gardens in December of 2017. An investigation showed hypothermia was a likely factor in her death.

In February, DHS fined Faith Gardens more than $4,000 and ordered it not to admit new residents, saying the organization failed to provide the supervision necessary to ensure that the residents receive proper care treatment and that their health and safety are protected and promoted.

Later that month, DHS said issues had been "substantially corrected" and once again allowed the facility to accept new residents. News 3 also found that affiliated Faith Living Center also had a number of prior violations, and that families had raised concerns about family members being mistreated, but also was allowed to continue to accept residents after plans of correction were accepted.

Care Wisconsin, a managed care organization that has resident members who reside at Faith Gardens, is monitoring the situation. Susan Crowley, Care Wisconsin's senior vice president of government services told News 3 that caseworkers are actively visiting residents in Sun Prairie and are awaiting the outcome of any investigation to determine if additional action is necessary.

Reached by phone Friday, an employee of Faith Gardens denied there was any investigation underway.

News 3 has also learned that the family of Alice McGaw intends to file suit against Faith Gardens for wrongful death.