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Assisted living facility where woman was found dead was cited 2 weeks before incident

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - The assisted living center where a woman was found dead had been cited by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services prior to the incident, according to records from the Department of Health Services. 

The body of Alice L. McGaw, 84, of Sun Prairie, was found Friday morning near the Faith Gardens Memory Care assisted living center, where she was a resident.

Officials with the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office said hypothermia is likely a factor in her death. Sun Prairie police are investigating how McGaw got outside the facility and the Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed to News 3 that they are investigating the incident. 

Records obtained by News 3 show the facility was cited in December for eight violations after an inspection by DHS in October 2017.

The first citation was for neglect to give proper medication to residents. The report said that on Aug. 31 a hospice agency nurse performing an assessment found three fentanyl patches on a resident's back, instead of just one. The report said having multiple patches could result in an overdose. None of the patches had the initials of the caregiver or the date given. 

Faith Gardens was also cited for not having an annual fire inspection. The most recent fire inspection the facility was able to provide documentation for was March 2016. 

Another citation issued was for not having all proper exits unobstructed by barriers to the outside. 

Faith Gardens was also cited for having combustible items near the furnace and water heater, not practicing proper fire evacuation techniques on a quarterly basis, not practicing other disaster  safety evacuation drills semi-annually, not having fire extinguishers inspected and  not having fire detection systems inspected annually. 

The facility was fined $1,072.50 for these citations on Dec. 15, according to DHS records

During a similar investigation in February of 2016, the Bureau of Assisted Living cited Faith Gardens twice. 

The first citation was for failure to report incidents of serious injury when two patients went to the emergency room. The second citation was for failure to perform entity background checks on select employees.

Faith Gardens has since corrected the 2016 citations, according to the records. 

News 3 reached out to officials at Faith Gardens who declined to comment on any investigation.

McGaw was one of three people last weekend who died because of the cold in the Dane County area, according to the medical examiner. 


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