Medicine

Top Executive with Hacienda HealthCare Resigns

Top Executive with Hacienda HealthCare Resigns

The Hacienda HealthCare facility in Pheonix, Ariz., is under fire after one of its patients, who has been in a vegetative state for at least a decade, gave birth on December 29.

Azfamily.com, a news website for television stations KPHO and KTVK, first broke the news Thursday that a woman gave birth on December 29 at the Hacienda HealthCare facility, where staff was unaware that she was pregnant. "I was confused. I was scared", she said.

"As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation", the company stated in the release, reported the Arizona Republic.

The Hacienda statement said the company welcomed the move by the police and had looked into conducting its own DNA tests, but attorneys said it would be illegal.

A police investigation is under way, while inspectors from Arizona's department of health services have checked on patients and implemented "heightened safety measures".

Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons resigned on Monday, with immediate effect, and his resignation was accepted unanimously by the board of directors. The female patient has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade. They declined further comment on Tuesday.

A source told AzFamily: "None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth". Then one day, hospital workers noticed one day that there was something wrong with her.

They said the baby was born into a loving family and he would be cared for.

"I can't believe that somebody would bathe her daily for nine months and never know that she wasn't having a period, that she [was] growing in her midsection, that nurses weren't keeping track" of her weight, the person said.

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Investigators are also trying to figure out whether any staff members knew that the woman was pregnant and didn't report it, sources told ABC 15.

But during her time working at Hacienda, she says she witnessed one particularly troubling incident.

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.

"Everybody was up in shock", Karina Cesena, whose daughter is a patient at the Hacienda Healthcare facility, told CBS News.

It comes after a sex abuse probe was launched after a patient in a vegetative state gave birth.

The facility says it will now no longer allow male staffers to enter a female patient's room unaccompanied.

Hacienda officials have called the situation "a deeply disturbing incident" and said they are cooperating with law enforcement and state agencies.

Hacienda describes itself as Arizona's "leading provider of specialised health care services for medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities".

The organization cares for more than 2,500 across all of its facilities.


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