The head of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is defending his agency’s oversight of the Glenwood State School in western Iowa which is home to disabled children and adults. The home is under a federal court order to improve, as inspectors from the U.S. Justice Department concluded poor medical care was evident in the death of one resident and was putting others at risk.
Iowa Inspections and Appeals Department director Dean Lerner says he’s not surprised by what federal inspectors found. "They’re the same kind of things our inspectors deal with on a daily basis," Lerner says. "…We see terrible things a lot."
Lerner says his agency has levied fines against the home, and it would be up to the state legislature to expand his authority over the institution. "Our role as a regulator is to look for them, inspector for them, fine for them and right deficiencies and we sure try to do that to the best of our ability," he says.
Glenwood is under a federal court order to improve the medical care of patients, but inspectors last fall concluded so many deficiencies remain that compliance by an earlier deadline was impossible and the institution has been given more time to correct problems.