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Child care program is under review

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002

The Regional Family YMCA intends to fully cooperate with the state Department of Public Welfare, whom the YMCA recently learned is reviewing their child care program, Discovery Time Child Care Center.

The review is in connection with an incident that occurred on Aug. 21 when a child was reportedly overmedicated by members of the staff.

"We are cooperating fully with the agencies involved and all child care programs will remain operational throughout the entire course of this review," said Steve Simon, executive director of the Regional Family YMCA.

"Thankfully the child involved was not harmed, and since the incident occurred, all staff members involved have been terminated and a new child care director was hired on Oct. 16," Simon added.

The affidavit of criminal complaint filed by Connellsville City Police said that on Aug. 21, a 7-month-old male child was under the care of Discovery Time Day Care, located at 201 E. Fairview Ave., in the Connellsville Community Center.

He was signed in by his mother at approximately 9 a.m. and had also entered his name on the daily medical log, showing that he was to receive his medication (unnamed) at 10:54 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 4:44 p.m., with each dosage being .7 milliliters.

This was in line with the prescription that was marked four doses a day 15 minutes before feedings at .7 milliliters.

According to the affidavit, day care worker Ashley Dawn Liston, 20, of 115 Broadway Ave., allegedly gave the child his medicine at 9:15 a.m. with a 7 milliliter dosage, while another employee, Gina Marie Kimmel, 20, of 331 Narrows Road, held him.

At 10:45 a.m., day care worker Crystal Dawn Eutsey, 40, of 106 N. Cottage Ave., allegedly gave the boy another 7 milliliter dose of the medicine, and at 4:45 p.m., Liston gave an additional 7 milliliter dosage to the child while he was again held by Kimmel.

When the mother picked up her son at 5:30 p.m., she noticed the child was listless and had poor skin color, according to the affidavit. She took him to the Highlands Hospital Emergency Room where he was treated for an overdose of his medication.

The affidavit also stated that the medicine had been received by the mother the day before and she had used just one dose of .7 milliliters that night.

When the hospital checked the prescription, they found that 42 doses were missing from the bottle of medicine, and admitted the boy for observation overnight.

On Aug. 22, just one day after the alleged incident, the mother, who was also an employee of the day care, photocopied the Aug. 21 medicine log from the center, which showed that no times had been entered and nothing was initialed by the person who gave the medicine, the affidavit stated.

On Aug. 23, a Fayette County Children and Youth Services worker visited the day care center and received a copy of the medical log that showed the times that the boy had received his medicine.

When the youth services worker asked to see the actual log book itself, the log sheet for Aug. 21 had allegedly been whited out and changed again and did not match the copy that they had given to him.

Liston, Kimmel and Eutsey will all appear before District Justice Ronald Haggerty for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21.

Simon added that because of the ongoing investigation, the Regional Family YMCA could not make further comment at this time.

"We are thankful for the community's support during this difficult time, especially the parents of the children currently enrolled in our child care program," said Simon.

"The Regional Family YMCA has been caring for children for over 25 years without a major incident and we will continue to make our commitment to the health and safety of children in our care our utmost priority."

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