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State health officials were granted an emergency court order Friday to assume control of a Pine Island nursing home. 

The regulatory action taken at Pine Haven Care Center comes amid concerns about residents' safety after an investigation revealed deep financial troubles and other management issues at the 70-bed nursing home.  

The facility, approximately 20 minutes northwest of Rochester, currently has 52 residents. 

“This rare step is one we do not take lightly, but the evidence indicated a need for immediate action to ensure that residents are safe and continue to receive essential services,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement Monday.

A complaint prompted the state health department to open an investigation at Pine Haven in late May, according to court documents. State investigators uncovered a pattern of financial mismanagement, including past due accounts and failures to pay employee wages and service vendors in a timely manner. 

Court documents and health inspection records also detail an array of non-compliance issues at Pine Haven. 

Last month, a resident with a peanut allergy suffered anaphylaxis after being served food containing peanuts, according to court documents. 

A facility inspection conducted last year detailed neglected building maintenance, misuse of psychotropic medications, unsanitary equipment and other failures in providing both personal and medical care to residents. 

Court order 

Ramsey County Judge Leonardo Castro granted the temporary court order Friday afternoon and regulators took over operations on Saturday. 

Under the arrangement, called a receivership, the state health department becomes responsible for the nursing home's operations and finances. Receiverships cannot last longer than 18 months, according to state law. 

Pathway Health, a professional management organization, has been appointed to oversee day-to-day operations at Pine Haven during the receivership, according to MDH. 

Receiverships are designed to respond to the most serious health and safety issues in nursing homes and are rarely sought by health regulators in Minnesota. 

Last year, MDH took control of the Twin City Gardens Nursing Home in Minneapolis, however, prior to that, a receivership action had not been taken since 2015. 

Marcus Parence, Pine Haven's chief executive officer and administrator, could not be immediately reached for comment. 

On Monday, an MDH spokesperson said the state agency's investigation is ongoing. 

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