PEARL RIVER, NY -- New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Ekua Hakikson, a Certified Nurse Aide who worked at United Hebrew Geriatric Center in New Rochelle for allegedly dropping an 85-year-old patient from a mechanical lift. On August 29, 2013, Hakikson attempted to move the resident by herself with the use of a mechanical lift. During the transfer, the resident allegedly fell to the floor, suffering injuries to her nose, temple and shoulder.
“The irresponsible conduct by this aide put the safety of an elderly patient at serious risk,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Nurses and aides who care for the elderly and infirm must put the well-being of those for whom they care first. We will continue to prosecute and hold accountable those who endanger the health of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Hakikson, 38, of Bronx County, was responsible for the daily care of residents at the Geriatric Center. Hakikson was assigned to provide care for an 85-year-old resident who suffered from several debilitating physical ailments that rendered her totally dependent upon the staff for her care. Due to her physical condition, the resident’s care plan required a mechanical lift and two persons to move her from her bed to a wheelchair. Hakikson had been trained in the use of mechanical lifts, including the necessity of two persons in performing any transfer, to ensure the safety of the resident.
Hakikson is charged by felony complaint with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person, or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, both Class E felonies, and two counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, Class A misdemeanors. She faces up to four years in prison.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The defendant was arraigned today in New Rochelle City Court before the Honorable Anthony Carbon. The investigation was led by Senior Investigator Frank Bluszcz, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General William McClarnon of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Pearl River Regional Office, with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Thomas O’Hanlon is the Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.