Four hospital workers sentenced for reckless abuse of an adult

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (WTVQ) – Four former hospital employees have been convicted of and sentenced on charges related to the reckless abuse of an adult, according to Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Ellyssa Klein, 28, Sandra Nobbe, 31, Gary Ray, 74, and Ashley Flower, 33, were employees of Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Edgewood, Ky. Klein and Nobbe were employed as certified nursing assistants with the hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit, and Ray and Flower were employed as registered nurses with the facility.

Between July 1, 2015, and July 2, 2015, they participated in and aided one another in the improper restraint of an elderly patient assigned to the Behavioral Health Unit, Cameron said.

This restraint was accomplished by arranging furniture around the patient’s medical recliner chair and placing two therapeutic water bags, each weighing in excess of 35 pounds, on the patient. The restraints remained in place for approximately 15 hours, Cameron said.

“The most vulnerable members of our Kentucky family deserve protection, and we will not tolerate abuse or neglect by those charged with their care,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “I appreciate the work of our Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit to hold accountable those responsible for these terrible actions, and I urge anyone with information regarding suspected abuse to contact our office at 1-877-ABUSE TIP.”

On April 1, 2021, Klein, Nobbe, and Ray pleaded guilty to Reckless Abuse or Neglect of an Adult, a Class A misdemeanor, and they were sentenced to 12 months in jail, conditionally discharged for two years. As a special condition of the plea, they agreed to resolve an administrative case with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services arising directly from their neglect of the patient.

This resolution resulted in their placement on the Caregiver Misconduct Registry for a period of seven years. They also agreed to forfeit their professional licenses.

On May 20, 2021, Flower pleaded guilty to Reckless Abuse or Neglect of an Adult and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, conditionally discharged for two years. Flower agreed to forfeit her professional license as a part of her guilty plea.

The Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services investigated the case.

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in a Medicaid facility, join us in our fight to protect Kentucky’s most vulnerable by contacting the Attorney General’s elder abuse tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384).

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