UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — A nurse who works at the Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Umatilla has had her license suspended because she neglected care for an inmate at the prison.
The Oregon State Broad of Nursing confirmed the 90-day suspension of Linda Gruenwald went into effect April 15, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
“Violations included client neglect, failing to follow through with the plan of care, and failing to communicate information regarding a client’s status,” a nursing board spokeswoman said in an email.
In May 2015, Gruenwald ordered Steven Fox on a liquid diet for six months, according to the nursing board’s suspension order.
“Licensee acknowledges that from May 27, 2015, to July 10, 2015, there was a lack of follow up and assessment for the inmate, which lead to a weight loss of 34 pounds,” the order states. “Additionally, a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate from lack of nutrition led to a fall on July 10, 2015, that resulted in hospitalization and permanent injury.”
The fall left Fox paralyzed. He requires a motorized wheelchair to move and 24-hour care.
The lawsuit settled in 2018, with the state paying $1.5 million. Gruenwald agreed to the suspension this month, according to a nursing board spokeswoman.
Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jennifer Black said Gruenwald remains employed.
“The findings substantiating the Board’s Order imposing the suspension of Practitioner Gruenwald are unacceptable for the Department of Corrections and will be reviewed in light of the constitutionally mandated healthcare inside our 14 institutions,” Black wrote in a statement.
More than 14,500 inmates are in DOC custody. Black said DOC is committed to high standards of physical and mental health care all in its custody.