A CLOSER LOOK: Piney Ridge Treatment Center corrects a dozen safety issues within a week

A Closer Look

DHS: All deficiencies have been addressed

PRTC Annex Building photo between 10/7/2020 & 10/23/2020.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In early December, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) found several deficiencies at the Piney Ridge Treatment Center (PRTC) in Fayetteville.

KNWA/FOX24, through a Freedom of Information Act request, obtained the October 27, 2020, complaint. The DHS responded on December 4, 2020, and gave the agency a list of corrections that needed to be made.

PRTC was asked by DHS DCCECE to correct the following deficiencies

  • Hanging wire by front door possibly from an old alarm.
  • Two emergency lights had one of the lights dislodged from the fixture and hanging by a wire.
  • The electric box by the exit door was shut and the lock was recommended.
  • The light switch was in need of replacement.
  • Chemicals were improperly stored in the furnace room.
  • Stacks of partitions were stored in children’s rooms.
  • Wall and ceiling need to be cleaned in the children’s room, near the trash container area.
  • Floors need to be cleaned and vacuumed.
  • The boys’ toilet was in need of repair.
  • Light fixture covers shall be replaced.
  • An evacuation map shall be posted in the building.
  • Fire inspection is needed. (Completed on Dec. 8, at 4153 N. Crossover, per Fayetteville Fire Marshal division).

Due to COVID-19, the Child Welfare Agency Review Board gave the treatment center permission to use the annex building for quarantine purposes even though the building is not designed for psychiatric care. A licensing specialist requested for PRTC to create a specific safety plan, “that would ensure the children have constant supervision while placed at the annex building to help ensure the health and safety of all children placed,” per the DHS letter. PRTC has complied with the request.

The October complaint also included allegations of sexual activity between residents. However, DHS stated those were previously investigated and were “unfounded.”

According to the DCCECE, as of Friday, December 11, all deficiencies have been addressed, except for the fencing around the air conditioning unit.

“That deficiency initially had a 30-day deadline for completion, but the facility has been in contact with DCCECE and communicated that it was meeting with challenges in finding a contractor that could complete the installation. They have been given an extension of an additional 30 days in regard to that particular deficiency and are staying in contact with DCCECE as they progress.”

DHS MARCI MANLEY BURKS, J.D.
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
DEPUTY CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS

As of now, the Annex building is not housing any residents there. “My understanding is that the facility is no longer using the Annex building for any client purpose, including quarantine,” said Burks.

Currently, PRTC’s owner Tennessee-based Acadia Healthcare has a job posting for a Chief Executive Officer. The person in that position has been there as CEO for almost one year.

KNWA/FOX24 has received several emails from former employees who stated that the facility was understaffed when they worked there making it difficult to stay in compliance at various levels.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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