ENID — Three residents at a state-run care facility for adults with developmental disabilities have died since late June, prompting investigations from two state agencies.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the state Health Department have investigated these deaths involving residents at the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid.
The center is an intermediate care facility for people with severe or profound developmental disabilities. The facility is scheduled to close in 2015, and DHS has been in the process of transitioning residents to community placements.
There are currently 92 residents at the center, and 259 staff employed at the facility, according to DHS. DHS has recently added additional staff members, although the center was meeting the minimum staffing requirements, according to the agency.
DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said two female residents and one male resident in their late 40s and 50s have died since late June. One resident died in late June, another in early July and another in mid-July, she said.
“Because there were three in a short period of time, in a matter of a few weeks, we are taking this very seriously,” Powell said. “We have implemented a lot of different things to try to make sure that there were no problems as far as staffing or the quality of care that would have contributed to the clients' deaths.”
Each resident was admitted to a nearby hospital for different reasons, and all three died at the hospital, she said. Since January, five residents of NORCE have died, including the three recent deaths.
Powell said the agency doesn't suspect there is any connection between any of the residents' deaths.