TEGNA’s ABC affiliate WFAA-TV Dallas earned a Murrow Award for its investigative report, “Criminal Caretakers.” WFAA found that nearly 200 certified nursing aides (CNAs) that are legally certified to work in Texas nursing homes have serious or violent criminal histories. The CNAs have been arrested for crimes including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, continuous violence against family, injury to a child, abandoning a child, aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual contact with a child. State Representative Bill Zedler, together with Health and Human Services, have come up with a solution that would require FBI background checks for all CNAs. Previously, CNAs received a one-time background check through the Texas Department of Public Safety as part of their initial certification.
“[WFAA] performed a very important service,” said State Representative Bill Zedler of the Public Health Committee, “because a lot of times you don’t know you have a problem until someone brings it to your attention.”