December 13, 2023

Masterpiece Responds To MHPS Media Release – December 13, 2023

We at Masterpiece Retirement want to update our residents, their families, and our employees about a recent investigation by the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) into the actions of a former maintenance employee. The safety, security, and well-being of our residents are our top priorities. We believe that they, and their families, deserve as much information as possible during this ongoing investigation and assurance that the individual who is being investigated no longer has access to our facilities.

On September 30, 2023, an incident took place at Masterpiece Southland Meadows. Based on the information we have received, the incident involved a single employee from the maintenance department, who entered a resident’s room under false pretenses and made inappropriate contact with the resident’s upper body. The resident sounded the alarm by pressing her pendant, which alerted the nursing staff, who intervened immediately.

The MHPS arrested the assailant and laid charges for sexual assault. We immediately terminated the individual’s employment and a restraining order was laid against him by the MHPS, preventing him from approaching our facilities now and in the future. Since the individual’s arrest, three other residents have bravely come forward with allegations of similar inappropriate physical contact by the same individual.

Masterpiece did not previously publicly address this investigation at the express request of the MHPS.

The MHPS’s investigation remains ongoing and our team will continue to cooperate fully.

The individual had no prior criminal record and was fully prescreened by Masterpiece, including a “vulnerable sector” check through the MHPS and reference checks from another care facility. He was hired as an occasional employee and came to Masterpiece this year to fill in when others were on vacation or off sick.

The actions of this individual have shaken our whole community, and our hearts are with the affected residents and their families during this difficult time. This was the first-ever such incident in our community, and we are providing support services, counseling, and additional resources to assist all those affected by the incident. Our partner, Alberta Health Services, has been extremely supportive on the ground and at the highest level.

I want to thank our employees, who acted without hesitation to report the incident, apprehend the assailant, and assist the police in their investigation. At Masterpiece, we are committed to safety and openness and we will keep our residents, their families, and the community informed as the investigation proceeds. Our residents are extended members of our own family, and we are extremely grateful for their continued trust and confidence.

Tim Garforth-Bles
President and CEO, Masterpiece Retirement

For enquiries, please contact:
403 612-3500