Officials Meeting to Discuss Safety Regulations in Wake of Hollywood Nursing Home Deaths

Over one month after the tragic events inside a Hollywood nursing home following Hurricane Irma, officials will hold a meeting Monday to discuss how to avoid a future tragedy from taking place.

Representatives from the union representing health care workers from across Florida will meet in Miami with State Senator Anitere Flores and others to discuss proper care and procedures for facilities in the event of another storm or natural disaster.

Three residents died on September 13th at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, days after the facility lost power due to the storm hitting South Florida. Five more died at area hospitals later that day while six more have died in the weeks since.

More than 100 people were evacuated from the facility, where air conditioning had not been running and some of those who died at body temperatures near 109 degrees.

A criminal investigation continues as the facility recently laid off 245 workers while its license has been suspended from the state pending the outcome.

In the weeks since the tragic events, state officials – including Governor Rick Scott – have begun the push for stronger provisions and rules for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

"It's always important to make sure that .... we now care for more acute patients than ever before," said Elaine Bloom, the CEO of Plaza Health Network and one of the participants in the meeting.

Bloom is also asking for changes that would include nursing homes having underground power lines and evacuation vans having priority at gas stations.

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