Everyone at Timberline Knolls, including our leadership team, psychiatrists, and treatment staff, is absolutely committed to providing the highest standards of care for our residents. We are devastated by the behavior demonstrated by one of our former employees. Our heartfelt condolences are with the women and families directly affected by these incidents. At Timberline Knolls, we hold ourselves to a standard of 100 percent accountability, and we are implementing improved best practices to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again.
Due to federal and state resident privacy and confidentiality laws, we are unable to comment directly on the specific allegations or on any pending litigation regarding the situation. However, we recognize the devastation that these unacceptable circumstances have caused, and it is our desire to be transparent in how we are fighting on behalf of our residents, both past and present.
While the incidents that occurred are isolated to one former employee, the safety of our residents is our top priority, and we continue to take every possible precaution to ensure that safety. We maintain a zero tolerance policy for any action that could endanger the physical, emotional, or psychological well-being of our residents. Employees found to be in violation of our policies are immediately suspended as investigations take place. They are then subjected to prompt disciplinary action, including termination, when warranted. Please note that this is what happened with the former employee in question.
State-approved protocols and rigorous training processes are implemented not only so that employees of Timberline Knolls are well-versed in the expectations and standards to which they will be held, but also to ensure that only the most optimal employees are selected to work with our residents. Every prospective employee undergoes a comprehensive pre-employment screening and background check. Tragically, this particular former employee managed to manipulate our policies, protocols, and procedures, and we have conducted a thorough investigation into how this happened so that it does not occur again.
To further promote resident safety, we have taken a number of preventative actions, including enhanced resident monitoring and improvements in our admissions department. Examples of the specific steps we have taken are described below.
Enhanced resident monitoring:
- Windows have been installed in all therapy rooms so that visibility is available at all times.
- The frequency of independent rounds with visual confirmation of our residents’ whereabouts and emotional state has increased and is consistently audited.
- There has been a significant increase in supervision for all employees, and they are required to participate in more frequent trainings regarding privacy and reporting mandates.
- We have increased the number of safety staff members and their level of presence on facility grounds.
- We have improved suspension and investigation practices and are actively building a culture of advocacy.
- Safety screenings are being completed both over the phone and in person.
- Safety plan procedures have been enhanced and require supervisor consultation at all times.
- Emergency response and 911 procedures were created, and trainings are provided quarterly.
- Safety standards are vigorously enforced by the admissions leadership team.
At Timberline Knolls, our primary focus has always been patient safety and quality care, and the actions of this former employee have demonstrated a need to take this a step further. We are committed to quality improvement and to learning from our experiences. Our leadership team and treatment staff members strive to continuously expand our understanding of how we can strengthen the work we do with the women and adolescent girls in our care. We will continue to explore new ways of improving our clinical work so that the individuals we serve receive the exceptional, comprehensive, and individualized treatment we have always been known and respected for.