Under pressure from regulators, Blossom Philadelphia will transfer responsibility for the 89 intellectually disabled adults it serves in community homes to other service providers, the Chestnut Hill nonprofit said Monday.
The move came about a month after the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services revoked the agency’s license to operate the 32 facilities because Blossom failed repeatedly to fix problems and to report incidents as required by law. Additional violations included use of untrained staff as well as the failure to administer medications and get residents to medical appointments.
Blossom, which was allowed to continue operating while it appealed the revocation, said in a news release that it would coordinate the transfer of the services at its homes to other organizations with the help of DHS’s Office of Developmental Programs and Philadelphia’s Office of Intellectual disAbility Services.
“This decision was made after a thorough analysis of the residential program and our ability to continue to meet the needs of the adults we serve in our community homes,” said Blossom’s chief executive, Paula Czyzewski.
Advocates welcomed the decision. “That’s probably good news,” said Marianne Roche, an intellectual-disabilities expert who worked in the industry for 50 years.
“I respect them for this decision,” said Kathy Brown McHale, CEO of SPIN Inc., another intellectual and developmental services provider in Philadelphia.
Under Czyzewski, Blossom’s chief executive since 2014, the 71-year-old nonprofit has been in turmoil. It has seen a complete turnover in senior management during her tenure. This year, she changed the organization’s name from United Cerebral Palsy Association of Philadelphia.
Effective July 10, Czyzewski, who had no previous experience in running residential programs, hired a staffing firm to supply direct-care workers for Blossom’s 32 community homes, laying off 179 employees. That move exacerbated what were already deteriorating service levels for Blossom’s residents, many of whom are in wheelchairs and can’t speak, advocates and family members of residents said.
Blossom said it would continue to operate day programs for adults and children with intellectual disabilities or autism and would explore the development of new services.