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February 24 2005 - NEW NURSING-HOME HIRES TO BE FINGERPRINTED

02/24/2005

Wisconsin has received a $2.3 million federal grant to take part in a pilot program that checks prospective nursing home employees' fingerprints against the FBI's database, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., announced Wednesday.

The program is designed to prevent those who have abused or taken advantage of the elderly from obtaining jobs with nursing homes, Kohl said.

"Unless we have ways that we can give facilities -- every facility -- a way to uncover these people and not employ them, obviously we're in big trouble," he said.

According to Helene Nelson, secretary of the state Department of Health and Family services, five counties in Wisconsin will take part in the federal pilot program, which officials hope will be in place by January 2006.
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