Governor Blunt says he’s satisfied with the investigation of that deadly fire at the Anderson Guest House, but adds the investigation isn’t complete and he has questions he wants answered. Blunt says a lot of state resources have been applied to ensure a thorough investigation is made of the fire that killed ten in the southwest Missouri group home. He says he’s most interested in how to avoid such tragedies in the future. Some have suggested such homes should have sprinkler systems, required in assisted living homes, not in residential homes, such as the Anderson Guest House. Blunt says it’s a suggestion worthy of the legislature’s consideration. It has come to light that Department of Mental Health inspectors found severe enough problems with how Joplin River of Life Ministries operated two group homes that the department threatened to revoke the state licenses for those homes. That came only two months before the Anderson Guest House burned. Joplin River of Life Ministries operated the Anderson home in southwest Missouri that served the elderly and the mentally ill. The department found problems with how medication was given, records were kept and hygiene maintained at group homes in Joplin and Carl Junction. An inspection of the Anderson Guest House in March revealed minor violations, but no fire safety violations. Also, the owner of Joplin River of Life Ministries, Robert Dupont, has been convicted of a felony and questions have been raised about why he was given state contracts to care for mentally ill patients. Medicaid fraud investigators from the Attorney General’s office have been probing records of the Anderson Guest House to determine how and if Dupont received public dollars from the departments of health and mental health after he was convicted of a felony and no longer allowed to participate in the Medicaid program.
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