State investigates more facilities related to man’s death in van

    The Department is looking into whether the same problems that led to Bryan Nevins’ death last month are pervasive throughout the company’s facilities in Langhorne.

    The facility where an autistic man died after being left in a van on a hot day is just one of many residences on the same campus in Langhorne Pennsylvania operated by Woods Services. Officials want to know whether the problems that led to this man’s death are pervasive throughout the campus.

    Woods Services cares for hundreds of residents with disabilities. The license for the home that served Bryan Nevins and eight others was revoked after state officials found “gross incompetence” related to Nevins’ death. Michael Race, a spokesman for the Department of Public Welfare, says the eight remaining residents will be relocated.

    Race: The decision to revoke the license for this facility is related to this death, but on a broader level there are serious concerns about the policies and protocols on the Woods Services campus as a whole, which is why we froze admissions on their other licenses.

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    Race says there are protocols in place — such as checking on residents frequently — that could have saved Nevins’ life. The Department is concerned that the lapse in following these procedures may extend beyond this tragic incident, and it is investigating whether the same lapses in protocols that could have saved Nevins’ life are endemic to all of Woods’ facilities in Langhorne.

    Celia Feinstein, the associate director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, is pleased the department has taken swift action.

    Feinstein: This is one campus, so I can say from an advocacy perspective there’s a lot of concern that what happens in one facility on one campus may not be isolated and it may be generalizable to the whole campus.

    Public Welfare has prohibited Woods Services from admitting new residents at any facility while the investigation is ongoing. Woods will appeal the Department’s actions.

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