Assisted Living Home Administrator Sentenced in Abuse Case
55-year-old Alice Ramsey, the ex-administrator of the now-closed Hubbard Road Meadows assisted living facility in Madison Township, Ohio, was sentenced to three years in prison for causing the death of 85-year-old Mary Srpan. Srpan died in January 2017, two weeks after suffering respiratory distress at the facility, which was later determined to be part of an abuse case.
Ramsey was accused of stuffing eggs and medication into the elderly woman’s mouth against her will. On January 3rd of last year, she “roughly” force-fed eggs to the patient, “more than what she could ingest,” according to court documents. According to letter provided by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which had licensed the facility, a review of its operations shortly thereafter revealed Ramsey “abused a resident resulting in that resident’s hospitalization.” Lake County coroner later confirmed the woman died from pneumonia, “a result of her aspirating on the eggs.”
Ramsey was arrested on a fourth-degree felony charge of patient abuse. She was represented by attorney William Bobulsky and pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and patient abuse. Little did the ex-administrator know at the time, her employees had been collecting evidence of patient mistreatment long before Srpan’s death, and they had documented multiple instances of abuse by Ramsey, including using their cellphones to take photos of bruises on Srpan’s neck and to record Ramsey verbally abusing her.
According to Ramsey’s former staff, they had heard banging coming from Srpan’s room prior to death. By the time they entered, the resident was already unresponsive.
“She was physically and verbally abusive,” an employee, who asked not to be named, said of Ramsey’s conduct toward her patients. The same employee said, “I would come home bawling my eyes out and I didn’t know what else I could do.” Many family members of Ramsey’s former patients also came forward with similar allegations of misconduct, stating they, too, had witnessed behavior indicative of abuse toward their loved ones.
Officials with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services reported Srpan was found in her room with her head wedged into a nightstand. She was transported to a Lake County emergency room, where medical personnel discovered the woman also had suffered a broken arm and was severely dehydrated. She died there on January 17, 2017.
The department suspended the home’s license March 30, after an official investigation revealed Srpan’s death was part of an abuse case, and that the facility failed to report numerous other instances of neglect, deaths, and falls, and violated hiring regulations. In addition to patient abuse, the review cited a failure to perform adequate background checks on employees, failure to properly list patients’ food allergies, dietary requirements, and medical and mental health diagnoses, and failure to provide documentation of staff training requirements.
Ramsey’s former employees were prepared to testify at trial. Madison Township detective Thomas Doyle said, “If it had gone to trial, I believe the facts would have shown that Alice Ramsey was physically abusive, verbally abusive and emotionally abusive.”
Ramsey apologized in court, refusing to say much about the abuse case or the serious allegations against her. She said only she was sorry she wasn’t careful enough.