New Jersey Board of Nursing Temporarily Suspends the Certifications of Two Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides Following Their Arrests on Criminal Charges Involving Patients
NEWARK – The State Board of Nursing has temporarily suspended the certifications of two certified homemaker-home health aides charged with committing crimes against their patients.
Robin L. Frye, of Newark, is charged with sexual assault by force or coercion and related offenses for allegedly engaging in sexual contact with an elderly female patient who resided at the nursing facility where he worked. Dionne Eke, of Lawrence Township, is charged with theft by unlawful taking for allegedly stealing $32,000 from a patient’s checking and credit card accounts.
Both Frye and Eke have voluntarily surrendered their certifications to be deemed interim suspensions pending the disposition of their criminal cases and further order by the Board.
“Home health care aids are entrusted to care for patients who cannot fend for themselves. We are cracking down hard on those caretakers who violate that trust for their own needs, as the charges in these matters allege,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “Anyone capable of exploiting their vulnerable patients, as these two allegedly did, has no place in the healthcare profession. They are barred from working with patients until the charges against them are resolved.”
Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides (“CHHAs”) are employees of healthcare service firms that work under the direction of registered professional nurses to perform tasks for elderly, disabled, or sick patients. CHHAs help patients dress, take a bath, and use the toilet or bedpan. They may also prepare patient meals, do light laundering, tidy the patient's room, run errands and assist with exercise regimens.
“Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides spend significant time alone with their patients, making it extremely important that they abide by the professional and ethical standards set for them,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The allegations in the charges against them are disturbing and the Board acted appropriately to protect the public.”
Frye, arrested by Eatontown police in May, is also charged with aggravated criminal sexual conduct, and criminal attempt. Eke was arrested in October for allegedly making several unauthorized charges on a patient’s credit/debit cards as well as using a blank check belonging to the patient and writing an unauthorized amount or money titled “Loan” that she did not pay back to the patient.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted these investigations.
Deputy Attorney General Shirley Dickstein of the Consumer Affairs Counseling Section of the Division of Law, is representing the State in these matters.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
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