Man dies, family members want answers from nursing homes

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The state of Illinois is still investigating the way Forest Hill Nursing Home in East Moline abruptly shut its doors, and now family members are speaking out about the closure and its impact on their loved ones.

The family of Barry Beauchamp says the 54-year-old cancer patient appeared to be doing well, until he was transferred to a facility in Galesburg on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Three days later, they got the call at their home in Rock Island.  Barry Beauchamp had died.

"We lost him. They took him down there. It's sad how they've treated these people. It's not right. It's not right for us and not right for the patients," said Barry's mother, Nancy Ward of Rock Island

His family says Beauchamp was startled out of a sound chemo-pill-induced sleep last Thursday, when he learned he was being transferred to a long-term care facility in Galesburg.  His mom says she was there when it happened.

"I woke him up and told him he was being transferred to Galesburg, and he said, 'What?'  His belongings were packed up in a couple of boxes, and he was escorted to a white van.

"He didn't have the opportunity to go local, they just shipped him out to another place further away.  I think Forest Hill herded everyone out like they were cattle.  They were a number with a tag on their ear," said Barry's younger brother, Mike Evans.  "He wasn't a number. He was my brother, and now I don't have him anymore."

His mom says she had not seen Barry since the transfer.  She says she received a call Sunday night, November 24 from Galesburg Terrace Nursing Home, informing her that he had passed away due to his cancer.

The family says they are skeptical right now.

"I say an autopsy needs to be done, because I spoke to his doctor this morning and my brother was in remission," Barry's sister, Samantha Evans.

Barry was one of nearly 70 sick and elderly patients moved over a two-week period from Forest Hill to other homes.

Meanwhile, nearly 70 Forest Hill employees who lost their jobs reportedly received their overdue paychecks Monday, November 25.  The union representing the majority of those workers says the facility's shutdown is under review.

"GEM Health, owned by Michael Lerner, did not give me any notice at all," said Greg Krout with the United Auto Workers.  "Under the Warren Act, there are stipulations that need to be followed and we are investigating those at the present time."

In a brief telephone interview, Lerner denied any wrongdoing and says patients were given "options" and time to decide where they wanted to go.

Barry's family says that's not the case. They say they want to know how Barry went downhill in three days and why he wound up in a nursing home in Galesburg in the first place.

"My car's not that trustworthy to go that far, that's why we wanted to get him close," Barry's mom said.  "It's not right how they got kicked out of there.  He went from fighting cancer, taking the chemo, he fought it all this time with the pills and now, I lose him within three days? You tell me something's right? It's not."

Funeral services for the former military man were pending.


  • candy

    I think mike owns Galesburg terrace I think that’s probably why they moved him there just my guess I used to work for Galesburg terrace a waste of a nursing home

    • Tonja

      I had hired an attorney and contacted the state to find out what they did to my mother a couple years ago. She too was taken from Forrest Hill after being dropped on the floor. But, she ended up in Galesburg Terrace as well. She left Galesburg Terrace when they had the mold problem. I found out the Michael owned both nursing facilities and did not have insurance. I also found out that the state of Illinois dropped the ball and covered his behind. Just shameful what goes on in many of these nursing homes. RIP mom!!! She had gone to two other nursing homes in Illinois, only to be abused in them both, before I was able to take her home.

  • Concerned

    ^^^^Wow your right, Mike Learner does own it!!! Now it seems even more suspicious! Something is wrong….I feel it.

  • no one knows the truth

    The new company that owns galesburg terrace are not good people either. I think its horrible what they did to those poor patients. That was their home and they were given no choice….not to mention the employees that are now out of work during the holiday’s.

  • Just so you konw

    What some people need to understand is the Forest Hill staff cared about and was dedicated to the residents that were there for a reason. A majority of them could not get into any other facility locally or in the state of Illinois. This is because of their payer source(i.e. Medicaid), diagnosis (I.e.mental illness), behaviors and/or their criminal background. Where is our county nursing home?
    A majority of them had no family members or contact with friends or family. Forest Hill residents and staff were their family/friends.
    What Mr. Lerner did was an unethical, immoral, inhumane action toward staff and residents.
    However, the staff did nothing but care about and for these resident. Society or this community did not care about the residents prior to Forest Hill closing.

    • kyle

      Staff at galesburg terrace were lied to also they got over 50 people from forrest hill in a matter of three days dispite rumores mike lerner pack this nursing home with forrest hill residents to increase the max capacity of the building witch is severly under staffed and not equiped for all these diverse residents then employees of galesburg terrace were lied to administrators and director of nursing stated that the in crease of residents was due to forrest hill being under construction and updating the home ..two days later
      f find out there under new management so mike lerner sent these residents to galseburg terrace filled all the rooms and then sold the facility some of these residents are really scared cause there so far from home to a building that is falling apart understaffed under paid cna s onley making minimum wage ..they don’t respect there employees so you can imagine how they treat residents .galesburg terrace is an eye sore for the community .galesburg terrace went from the verge of closing to max capacity I know some of the staff they onley work 3 aides and two nurses on the night shift in a building of 70 residents ..some are mental illness. .some are independent and some are on the vent unit wich means these people are on machines to breath

      • tw28

        To whom it may concern galesburg terrace is under new ownership and the staff is caring and respctfull to all residents and employees.I myself has been an aid there a long time .the staff is full of kind and energetic people who take pride in what they do ..

    • Kristin

      Well said. I’m not involved with this but you’re right that people do not grasp the lack of options available for people with Medicaid in this state. The state doesn’t pay, therefore Doctor’s and facilities can’t or won’t take them.
      Once upon a time I worked at a different facility that was heavy on Medicaid, mentally ill, and residents with horrible behaviors. There was nowhere else for them to go and very frequently they had no family. They were completely forgotten.
      As far the the CNAs go, people can’t make blanket statements like that. It’s an awful zero respect, no pay job, and there are good and bad aids everywhere. Unless you’ve worked in that environment at some point, you can’t possibly understand.
      What they need to look at now is making sure the facility with all these new residents has was it needs, ie STAFF to care for these additions.

  • tw28

    Also to whom it may concern I onley know one kyle that knows some of the staff and he would never post something like that so my onley conclusions is who ever stated all that is one not him and two this person has lied about the information they have stated …..

  • Gary D armstrong

    My husband got a letter on Friday Nov 15 th that they was going to do renovations on the building and that his mother was to be moved and his mom called us on Saturday and she told him that she was supposed to pack up her own stuff she is a Alzheimers patient so we went to forest hill that Saturday to see what was going on and they said they was not making her pack her own things and that the alzheimers unit was going to be the last to be moved. So she called us again on Monday 18th and said they was moving her that day so we went up their again and found out that they was taking her out that very day and we was lied to that their was going to be renovations and that she was going to be back in a few weeks. .com

  • James

    when you say (they) don’t include the employee’s in your broad statement’s . the employee’s are the one’s caring for the resident’s .most of us took theses job’s knowing the pay is terrible the hours are long and we get equal disrespect from management and the residents . the villain or villians here are mike lerner and the owners of the other two nursing home’s , they broke the law’s they spat in the face of the authority of the state of Illinios and did what they wanted , and when the truth come’s out it will be what it’s alway’s about with these greedy people , all was done for financial gain , Because if there wasn’t money to be made for all involved in this scheme , it wouldn”t of happened like it did ! the employee’s of all these homes are just there to do there job’s and get paid 75 % of these employee’s have worked at various nursing homes in the area and I know a lot of them , they do there jobs to the best of there abilities with what there given to work with .

  • Anonymous

    WOW!! I can not believe some of the posts on here. Forest Hill was ran by a very honest and caring Adminstrator and her very talented Department Heads. Stop with the employee bashing and down talking of Forest Hill it may have had some incidents but what nursing home dosent.. None of this happened because of them this all happened because of greedy owners!! They were lied to as well ALL of them were told to move people beacuse of renovations then after they did all of the hard work of placing the residents they were told it was closing, they were all used!! Plus no residents were just moved without family or gurdians (if they had one) approved and they gave them options of Galesburg Terrace or Riverwood or they could find a different nursing home if they chose to. Why don’t everyone focus on the REAL story here Michael Lerener!! He does still own Galesburg Terrace he just let Yam Mangement take over the mangement of the building to get out of debts owed to vendors that are in his name and to start again with a different company name. Him and his pals Michael Rosen, Yosef Meystel, and David Berkowitz(who all own Yam Mangement and Riverwood nursing home in East Moline and the paper owners of Galesburg Terrace)are running a scam here to fill their other nursing homes. Why do you think Riverwood employees came and got beds and all med supplies from Forest Hill and the food delivery that Forest Hill recevied the day before the shutdown??? Run up bills under one company name close building down or switch owners and start the same routine all over again. Then I bet you when Forest Hill goes up for sell by the bank Yam Mangement will buy the building and start it back up magically with a different name!! Please do yourself the favor of researching these four men you will be horrified!!

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