Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance cites Mariefe Galvez for illegally operating unlicensed adult residential care home

Posted on Apr 21, 2020 in health news, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance (OHCA) is committed to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of seniors by conducting investigations and taking appropriate action toward unlicensed adult residential care homes. OHCA has issued a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) to Mariefe Galvez, owner and operator of an illegal adult residential care home located at 2625 Ferdinand Avenue in Honolulu. Galvez, who serves as president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and director, was ordered to immediately cease and desist operations of the unlicensed facility and to pay an administrative penalty of $88,100.

“During this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to be vigilant to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our kupuna at facilities that are licensed and regulated,” said Keith Ridley, OHCA chief. “If anyone suspects unusual or illegal activity or is uncertain whether a facility is licensed, we ask you to reach out to us and report it.”

Based on an unannounced visit and investigation conducted in response to complaints, OHCA determined that Safe Living Home Care, Inc. and Mariefe Galvez were illegally operating an Adult Residential Care Home (ARCH) or an Expanded ARCH (E-ARCH) by providing living accommodations for at least one unrelated individual located at 2625 Ferdinand Avenue in Honolulu.

In addition to requiring Mariefe Galvez to cease operations, the company has been ordered to comply with other requirements:

  1. Safely transfer the residents from Galvez’s unlicensed care home to a licensed adult residential care home or expanded adult residential care home within seven days;
  2. Notify OHCA in writing within one calendar day after the residents have been safely transferred to a licensed or certified facility and provide the name and address of the licensed or certified facility;
  3. Pay a fine to the Hawai‘i Department of Health totaling $87,600. This is based on $100 for each day of unlicensed operation times 876 days as calculated from the date of admission of the first resident to the date of transfer of all residents, inclusive (December 1, 2017 to April 24, 2020). The transfer date is seven calendar days from the NOVO receipt date;
  4. Pay a fine totaling $500 based on Mariefe Galvez’s (a licensed registered nurse) first violation for the knowing transfer of a resident from a licensed ARCH to Safe Living Home Care, Inc., an unlicensed ARCH or E-ARCH; and
  5. Disclose to the Hawai‘i Department of Health whether or not there are any other care homes operated by Mariefe Galvez and/or Safe Living Home Care, Inc. or any other entity, agency, or organization owned, managed, or operated by Mariefe Galvez.

An ARCH and E-ARCH are defined as any facility that provides 24-hour living accommodations for a fee to adults who require at least minimal assistance in activities of daily living, personal care services, protection, and health care services. These adults do not need the professional health services provided in an intermediate, skilled nursing, or acute care facility, and are unrelated to the family that operates the ARCH or E-ARCH.

Under state law, Mariefe Galvez may submit a written request to the Department of Health within 20 days to request a hearing to contest the Notice and Order.

The NOVO does not preclude or limit actions by any other public agency or private party. Whenever OHCA surveyors identify potential abuse or neglect, these incidents are immediately reported to Adult Protective Services (APS) for a thorough investigation. APS is part of the Adult Protective and Community Services Branch of the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services. 

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PDF: DOH cites operator of unlicensed care home