BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will be reviewing what happened at the Arc of Acadiana Northwest facility on Shed Road near I-220 after Thursday's drowning death of resident 53-year-old Pamela Owens.
Staff members told police they noticed the woman missing from her residence at the center at about 4:45 a.m. and began searching the grounds for her. They found her body in a bayou a few hundred feet from the facility an hour later and called police. "DHH is deeply saddened by the news of the death of a resident at The Arc of Acadiana - Northwest," DHH spokesman Ken Pastorick told KSLA News 12 via email.
Pastorick says DHH's Health Standards Section will review the incident and determine what issues, if any, happened at this facility that led to the death of Owens. "Every 9-15 months, DHH's Health Standards Section performs required routine standard surveys of intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled," Pastorick said and adds that prior to this current incident, The Arc of Acadiana - Northwest's license was current and in good standing.
Up until October 1, the center was run by the state and known as the Northwest Supports and Services Center. DHH announced in September of 2012, the completion of cooperative endeavor agreements for Northwest as well as a similar center in Hammond. The DHH said at the time of the announcement, the privatization would save the state nearly 6.7 million in State General Fund dollars. The new privatized center held an official grand opening on April 18, 2013.
Despite the changes, Pastorick says the DHH hasn't received any complaints within the last 10 years that would prompt them to conduct an on-site complaint investigation
They say they are fully cooperating with the Bossier Police Department's investigation. BPD say foul play is not suspected in Owens' death.