State aims to revoke license of youth psychiatric center

Baltimore & Region


State officials have filed legal documents to revoke the license of the Chesapeake Youth Center in Cambridge, a psychiatric treatment center where some former and current employees alleged that staff members were mistreating young patients.

The state Office of Health Care Quality, acting on tips, visited the center recently and found that some patients were not receiving proper doses of medication or being regularly monitored by a physician. They also noted that some youths were being cruelly punished. In one case, a girl was forced to wear nothing but a paper gown for several days.

Wendy Kronmiller, acting director of the office, notified the center's director, Dr. Marc Fishman, of her intent to revoke the center's license in a Nov. 29 letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Sun. Kronmiller said that if the license is revoked, the center would have to close.

Kronmiller said that Fishman filed an appeal with the state Office of Administrative Hearings on Dec. 5 but that a hearing date had yet to be set.

Fishman could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he has said that he was working to improve the atmosphere at the center and that his staff was receiving training to ensure patient safety. He said that if the center closes, the state could be left without the resources necessary to help youths with psychiatric problems.

The parents of some former and current patients have also defended the center, which serves about 60 youths. They said that their children received proper medical care and that they benefited from their time at the treatment center.

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