John O'Connor
John O’Connor

Introducing the Dumber Than A Box of Rocks Award. This ignoble prize recognizes leaders who flagrantly ignore the fact they are supposed to be in the caregiving field.

We had some seriously tough competition for the inaugural prize. Still, the winning selection turned out to be a no-brainer. In more ways than one.

So let’s give a lukewarm round of applause to Larry Michael Rasmussen. The judges gave him perfect scores in the Trashing Staff, Abusing Residents, Lousy Judgment and Selfish Behavior categories.

By now you may be wondering how Mr. Rasmussen earned this unique distinction.

Remember that little thing called COVID-19? You know, the virus that has infected 47 million Americans and contributed to 765,000 deaths?

Well, apparently Mr. Rasmussen never got the memo. In July 2020, he required workers ill with COVID-19 report to work at Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Prescott AZ. Yes, he did.

This executive decision triggered all kinds of problems. At least 50 residents tested positive for COVID-19, and 15 have died, according to various reports. Gee, who could have seen that coming?

In the true spirit of the award, he made it clear that although underlings should face unpleasant consequences, he would not. Rather than appear at a hearing Monday to determine the fate of his administrator’s license, he was a no-show. He literally mailed it in. Talk about checking all the boxes!

Sure he has a dubious past that includes convictions for real estate fraud. Sure, he just gave the rest of the field a black eye. Sure, he seems to be bereft of that thing most of us call common decency.

But I’ll say this for the guy: He set a standard for this award that will be hard to beat.