Chenoa nursing home: Staffers acted swiftly when they learned about abuse


The Illinois Department of Public Health said it has fined Meadows Mennonite Home in Chenoa $25,000 for allegedly failing to protect six residents from a staff member who took photos and videos of them. Authorities said the images, some showing partial nudity, were posted on social media. Meadows operators said Wednesday they will contest the fine, and are cooperating fully with the criminal investigation.
(Photo from


By Howard Packowitz

CHENOA – Operators of a Chenoa nursing home are defending their actions in the midst of a criminal probe into the alleged abuse of six residents, and they are challenging a fine imposed by a state agency for not protecting those residents.

The Meadows Mennonite Home released a statement Wednesday claiming the person who posted inappropriate and unauthorized pictures and videos of the residents on social media is not associated with the nursing home.

The statement also claims the McLean County Sheriff’s Department is investigating two former nursing home employees for their alleged role in the abuse.

The statement goes on to say that Meadows staffers immediately contacted the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Sheriff’s Department when they learned of the social media posts.

“We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities as they investigate and act on this case,” the statement said.

However, the Meadows home has requested a hearing to contest a $25,000 fine from the public health department.

The department took the action in May and released its findings Tuesday as part of the agency’s quarterly report.

The Meadows home said it is conducting its own investigation to learn from what occurred and how to prevent similar instances in the future.

Meadows home operators said they will not allow “dysfunctional behaviors of several individuals to overshadow the many positive and compassionate behaviors of the many employees and residents at Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community.”

Howard Packowitz can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…