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90-day stop work order placed on Redmond facility, as former employees criticize conditions

(Update: Adding video, comments by former caregivers)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Documents obtained by NewsChannel 21 show the state Department of Human Services has administered a 90-day 'stop work order' for Juniper Canyon Living.

It means the Redmond behavioral and mental health treatment facility is unable to take in new Medicaid residents. It also means ODHS will not provide any funding until the order is rescinded or the 90 days have passed.

NewsChannel 21 first reported on the state and Redmond Police's investigation of the facility on Tuesday and had a second report on Thursday 

Former Juniper Canyon Living caregiver Nick Scott said, "When they passed away, especially under such circumstances that were suspicious or neglectful before they passed, it's really disheartening to see stuff like that go on."

Scott worked at Juniper Canyon Living for about two years before being terminated in December 2023. The facility is being investigated by Redmond Police and the state agency. 

Typically, Juniper Canyon Living usually receives $14,000 in funding per patient per month.

This is not the first time ODHS has placed the facility on a stop work order

According to former medical technician Jeremiah Davis, "When the state had put them down, not allowed to bring in new people. They would still bring in new people, but then they would put in the intake date for after the state allowed to bring in new people. They're allowed to bring in new people because they're trying to bring in because there's a point where we had hardly any residents when we started again, more and more."

Davis left his employment at Juniper Canyon Living two years ago after reporting what he felt were abuses and not seeing any consequences.

According to ODHS, licensed facilities are investigated frequently and given an opportunity to become compliant.

Scott said, "When the authorities get sort of wind of what's going on, we have to fix everything in like 24 to 48 hours before they show up to do like an inspection, and then we have sort of an entire staff meeting afterward. And they'll tell us like, 'You've heard something, I don't want you guys to believe them. We're working on our rapport with the authorities and APS.'"

 The letter sent by ODHS also confirms Adult Protective Services has numerous active investigations into abuse allegations at the facility. 

Davis said in regard to these abuses, "I walked in on one of them forcibly putting a resident into the bathroom and I'm like, 'You can't do that. If he doesn't want to go, give them 10 minutes, try again later.' But they don't do that. He's yelling and screaming, saying, 'Don't do that. I don't want to do that!' And they're still doing it. I ran into another one of them forcibly putting meds into their mouths and making them swallow. That's another thing they're not allowed to do. If they don't want to take their meds, you make a report and move on. But she was like, 'No, he's going to take his meds, whether he likes it or not.'"

Since the start of our investigation this week, we know of six people no longer working at JCL. Four say they resigned and two tell us they were fired. This is in addition to six staff members who walked out last week. Current employees tell NewsChannel 21 if staff members bring up concerns or talk to the media, their employment will be terminated. 

In a letter sent to a former employee who was let go Thursday, Juniper Canyon Living claims to be "reducing expenses" and "restructuring."

Scott said, "And no matter what we do, especially if you're lower down like a caregiver, there's nothing you can do, to the point of people being terminated for advocating for residents' rights. And they don't, they still don't have rights."

 A former employee said, "They claimed due to his safety, that his wheelchair needed to be removed. They had locked it in a janitor's closet and caused this person to urinate on themself. When this was discussed with the director of nursing, I was told to keep my mouth shut if I liked my job. "

A search of the business on employee review website Indeed turned up posts from several unhappy former employees. Of the nine reviews, eight gave one star. Current employees provided evidence to NewsChannel 21 the administration is now encouraging staff to leave positive reviews on Google in exchange for a Dutch Bros coffee card.

In regard to Juniper Canyon Living's online reputation, Davis also referred to reviews on the website "Yelp, and make it look like this place is really nice, and they want the family to be there, but it's really not. They're just trying to get more people in it."

A current employee tells us the facility now houses 53 people. We reached out to the administrator for a comment on the investigation and allegations, but were told he is unable to comment on active investigations and internal HR policies. 

Article Topic Follows: NewsChannel 21 Investigates

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Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


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