AUGUSTA — A woman found not criminally responsible for the stabbing death of her boyfriend two years ago in Bangor will move from Riverview Psychiatric Center to a locked ward at Mount St. Joseph Residence & Rehabilitation in Waterville.
A community placement for Gail Judd, 55, a patient at the state psychiatric hospital, was approved Friday by Justice Ann Murray in Kennebec County Superior Court at the request of Judd’s attorney, Harold Hainke. Assistant Attorney General Laura Yustak Smith indicated by a letter to the court that she had no objection to the transfer to the locked nursing residence.
Judd had sought a community residential placement and staff at Riverview recommended it, saying that Judd is in such poor health that she is heavily dependent on supplemental oxygen and requires one-on-one supervision 24 hours a day to monitor the flow of oxygen and to prevent her from falling. She also has other physical problems preventing her from getting proper nutrition.
Judd was not in court for the brief hearing Friday morning.
In a report requesting that a judge approve the transfer, Judd is listed as suffering from hepatopulmonary syndrome, a condition in which liver disease affects the lungs and results in low levels of oxygen in the blood.
The hospital report says “The Upper Saco Treatment Unit at (Riverview) lacks the resources and personnel required to provide acute medical care. As Ms. Judd’s physical condition continues to decline, meeting her needs will surpass (Riverview’s) ability to provide adequate care.”
According to another report from the hospital issued last October, Judd’s case has “a very poor prognosis with a survival rate of approximately three years.”
The most recent Riverview report also notes that Judd has twice been admitted to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta for recurring pneumonia for a total of 38 days and was most recently returned to Riverview on Jan. 10.
“Due to Ms. Judd’s â€˜physically debilitated’ condition and the prognosis for continuing deterioration, the need to provide appropriate levels of nursing care interventions over an extended period of time, the effort to maximize quality of life and to meet the need for a safe and secure environment, the treatment team recommends placement” at Mount St. Joseph, the report says. It is signed by three different care providers and a member of the Riverview Assertive Community Treatment team program.
Judd appears to be the first Riverview forensic patient — those admitted for crime-related issues — sent to the nursing home. Mount St. Joseph provides assisted living, long-term care, Alzheimer/dementia care and behavioral health care. The nursing home has 111 beds certified by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to its website.
The director of the home was unavailable Friday afternoon and did not return a message left on her voice mail.
A year ago, Mary Louise McEwen, Riverview’s superintendent at the time, said she was initiating arrangements to seek placement for some Riverview forensic patients in nursing homes or similar residences if that would be the best place for them.
A judge in November authorized Judd’s absence from Riverview with one-to-one supervision for up to four hours at a time.
“The court feels that her current medical condition — confined to a wheelchair and in need of oxygen supplementation significantly diminishes any concern for public safety,” Justice Michaela Murphy wrote in that decision.
The hospital report says Judd will be required to have one-to-one supervision on any activity away from Mount St. Joseph, including medical appointments, recreation and other needs.
Judd is to meet monthly with a member of the Assertive Community Treatment team and at least quarterly with a psychiatric provider. If she requires medical hospitalization, the supervision will be determined by collaboration of the nursing home, the ACT team and Riverview.
A the November hearing, William Nelson, a psychiatrist who was Riverview’s medical director, testified that Judd’s liver condition was a result of 30 to 40 years of alcohol abuse and addiction.
Judd was committed to the custody of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services and placed at Riverview after being found not criminally responsible for murder in the February 2012 stabbing death of 47-year-old Michael Drouin in a Bangor apartment.
Betty Adams — 621-5631 firstname.lastname@example.org