Wes Bledsoe is arguably the nation’s leading expert on the issue of nursing home criminal abuse and neglect. He is the Founder and Chairman of A Perfect Cause, a citizens’ advocacy organization acting on behalf of the disabled, the elderly, and their families.
After the needless death of his grandmother in a nursing home, Bledsoe began uncovering a vast number of systemic failures by the nursing home industry and government oversight agencies.
Further study resulted in the discovery that an estimated 500,000 deaths due to negligence and abuse occur each year. These failures also impact communities and employers, who suffer an estimated $36.5 billion in lost productivity due to full time employees dealing with the long-term care issues of a family member.
The first national study performed by Bledsoe’s organization in 2004 sparked a federal investigation led by U.S. Congressional Representatives Henry Waxman, Brad Carson, Betty McCollum and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.
Shockingly, subsequent investigations and reports by Bledsoe and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) documented thousands of violent and sexual offenders being warehoused by the government in long-term care facilities. These investigations uncovered rapes, sexual and physical assaults, and murders committed by offenders against fellow residents and staff – even a three-year-old visitor at one facility.
Bledsoe has exposed and discredited every justification used by government and industry officials to warehouse offenders in long-term care facilities. In June 2008, Oklahoma made U.S. history when then Governor Brad Henry signed the Sex Offenders Long-Term Care Facility Bill (OK – HB 2704) into law. Governor Henry acknowledged Bledsoe as the driving force behind the bill and praised him for his “passion and tenacity.”
After he appeared on the Today Show in 2008, Bledsoe was called to testify before Congress. Yet, today the issues persist.
Bledsoe’s continued investigations have uncovered and exposed much more, including the appearance of racketeering. He found the diversion of funds from nursing homes to shell companies involved on both sides of property leases, and he found inept laws and policies that do not require nursing homes to contact law enforcement in cases of rape and other serious offenses.
On April 29, 2013, Bledsoe and his alliance succeeded in passing OK Senate Bill 587, the Protect Our Loved Ones Act, which allowed protection for nursing home residents and their representatives by the use of electronic monitoring systems in the rooms of nursing home residents.
While working on the legislation, Bledsoe and his coalition faced stiff opposition from the nursing home industry as well as the state’s Long Term Care Ombudsman, AARP, and officials from the Department of Human Services. These groups cited issues of privacy and cost over the safety of residents. However, the bill unanimously passed five legislative votes and has been signed by Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin.
In addition to working with prosecutors and legislators, Bledsoe has worked closely with the media. He has appeared on radio and television including ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, and PBS news networks and affiliates across the nation and the world.
When speaking, he shares his personal experiences as he calls for further reform to protect the vulnerable in our society.
FEE RANGE: 5-10k
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- Predators in America’s Nursing Homes: The Warehousing of Violent & Sexual Offenders as Residents
Travels from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma