Spanish Fork youth treatment center shut down following previous probation over youth death

May 24, 2022, 12:55 PM | Updated: May 31, 2022, 12:25 pm
Maple Lake Academy (Google Earth Pro)...
Maple Lake Academy (Google Earth Pro)
(Google Earth Pro)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Maple Lake Academy, a youth treatment center, had its license revoked on May 20, 2022 according to public records of the Utah Department of Human Services.

A letter from the department states, “This letter serves as notice that the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing (“Office”) is revoking the residential treatment/residential support license of Maple Lake Academy (“licensee”) Girls’s Home effective 30 business days from receipt of this notice.”

The document outlined multiple violations of “administrative rules and statutes.”

The letter states, the clients have the right to 1) be free from potential harm or acts of violence and 2) be free from abuse, neglect, mistreatment, exploitation, unusual or unnecessary consequences and fraud. and that the actions of the youth treatment center violated the clients rights with the following actions.

The department listed two violations of those policies one on April 8, 2022 when it stated, ” the licensee failed to seek immediate medical attention for a client that was involved in an accident in which they hit their head on the pavement, lost consciousness and had multiple vomiting episodes.” And another on April 9, 2022 when, “the licensee failed to follow emergency room medical orders and permitted a client with a concussion to participate in strenuous activity.”

Another statute states that any critical incident that involves a client or on-duty staff member that occurs at the center must be reported to the office within one business day.

However, on April 10, 2022, “a client was transported to urgent care with reoccurring symptoms related to a concussion.” The staff did not report this critical incident to the Office of Licensing, as required by rule.

The administrative rule states the program administration shall ensure that the program provides training and monitors staff to ensure program policy and procedures meet the need of each client.

The licensee’s nurse failed to document ongoing medical services for a client that was involved in an accident and sustained a concussion, as required by rule.

The letter explained that under Utah Code 62A-2-113: “A human services program that has had its license revoked is prohibited from providing any services to clients until after a new license is issued. The Office may not grant a new license after a revocation unless the following conditions are met:
(a) the human services program provides satisfactory evidence to the Office that the conditions upon which the revocation was based have been corrected;
(b) the human services program is inspected by the Office and found to be in compliance with all provisions of this chapter and applicable rules;
(c) at least five years have passed since the day on which the licensee is served with final notice that the license is revoked; and
(d) the Office determines that the interests of the public will not be jeopardized by granting the license.”

According to Maple Lake Academy’s website, the home is a place to learn socially, emotionally, and academically, for adolescents ages 12-17, “struggling with the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Communication Disorder, and Verbal/Nonverbal Learning Disorders.”

The ownership and management of Maple Lake Academy released the following statement:
“We are disappointed that the Utah Office of Licensing has chosen to take such arbitrary action in this matter. The Office’s notice contains reference to “facts” not at all in evidence, as there has been no administrative hearing of any kind. The agency also uses terms such as “immediate” and “strenuous” that are potentially in dispute and certainly open to interpretation. We know that our staff responded responsibly and timely in this case. The Office’s allegations are excessive, in our opinion, and certainly not yet established by any formal process. Maple Lake Academy has operated safely and effectively for 17 years and has a notable record of success with its clients, as attested by the parents of the young woman in question. We understand that the Office of Licensing has a tough job to do, but even in an atmosphere of media sensationalism, due process must not lose out to political expediency. At minimum, we would expect to have “our day in court” before any final action is taken by state regulators. As always, actively ensuring the safety, care, and welfare of our clients is our first priority.”

The youth treatment center was previously put on “conditional status” after a girl within their program died on Jan. 16, 2022. State officials said her death was due to a medical issue.

According to the original Notice of Action from January 2022, the girl reported symptoms of illness worsening for at least a week before her death. The notice states, “after repeated requests from parents, the program took the client to be evaluated by a doctor. After the doctor visit, the client complained of worsening symptoms but was not returned for medical care. The client died early the next morning.”

After the tragic event, the Notice of Action outlined a number of conditions that were required in order for the youth treatment center to be taken off of “conditional status” including having an appropriate ratio of staff to clients.

Since the death in January, Maple Lake Academy has remained on conditional status and has been restricted from taking on any new clients.

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Spanish Fork youth treatment center shut down following previous probation over youth death