Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Facility's CEO resigns after vegetative patient gives birth

A Phoenix police spokesman told The Washington Post that the department is investigating but did not release details about the case.							Getty Images A Phoenix police spokesman told The Washington Post that the department is investigating but did not release details about the case. Getty Images
Johnnie Parks | 09 January, 2019, 05:59

In a report aired by FOX 10 on January 4, a source close to the investigation says the patient became comatose following a near-drowning, and was being cared for at the facility.

San Carlos Apache officials announced Tuesday night that the 29-year-old woman was an enrolled member of the tribe, whose reservation is in southeastern Arizona about 134 miles east of Phoenix. The Phoenix Police Department did not respond to HuffPost's request for comment.

According to NBC News, a Phoenix woman, who is unable to move or speak, gave birth to a baby boy on December 29, at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

San Carlos Apache Police Chief Alejandro Benally says Phoenix police "will do all they can to find the perpetrator".

The New York Times and NBC News reported that the Phoenix Police Department had opened an investigation into allegations involving the facility but the agency would not discuss the details of the case or how long they had been looking into it.

The Hacienda HealthCare company's CEO Bill Timmons resigned from his position after news of the sexual assault went public.

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Hacienda HealthCare board member Gary Orman said the facility will accept "nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization".

She said no one reported that incident exclusively out of fear, and she believes there's been other abuse throughout the years. Since entering the hospital's care, she's been in a complete coma. "None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth".

A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the reports were "deeply troubling" and that the state was re-evaluating its contract and regulatory authority over Hacienda Healthcare to tighten up patient safety measures.

The birth has triggered a police investigation and reviews by state agencies. Employees only realized that the woman was pregnant when she began to make moaning sounds while she was delivering the baby.

Founded as Hacienda de Los Angeles in 1967, Hacienda HealthCare is described on its website as "the leading provider of specialized medical care and social services for Arizona's infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities". The facility has up to 74 patient beds, according to federal records, while state records show that some patients have lived at the Hacienda facility for decades. "Whether it's an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents".

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