Nursing Home Ombudsman Speaks Up for Residents' Rights

March 5, 2015 11:00 AM

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Sondra Everhart used to be a surveyor – inspecting nursing homes and investigating complaints – for the New Mexico Department of Health. In 2006, she moved on to become the state’s long-term care ombudsman .New Mexico has about 12,000 residents living in assisted-living and long-term care facilities, including 72 nursing homes. The ombudsman program comprises an 11-member staff and 100-plus certified volunteers who visit facilities on a regular basis to ensure advocacy services are available to residents and families. Everhart visits many of the nursing homes personally, crisscrossing through this frontier state to meet with residents, family members, administrators and workers. On a leadership level, she meets with government officials and deals with concerns such as new policies that may violate resident rights.

Sondra Everhart used to be a surveyor – inspecting nursing homes and investigating complaints – for the New Mexico Department of Health. In 2006, she moved on to become the state’s long-term care ombudsman .

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