Hacienda launches internal review after vegetative patient gives birth

Jan 14, 2019, 11:06 AM

PHOENIX — Officials at Hacienda HealthCare, the Phoenix facility where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth last month, prompting a sexual assault investigation by police, has launched an internal review into the situation.

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who was picked by the company’s board of directors to lead the review, said Monday the investigation will focus on the safety and security of the facility to ensure that a similar situation does not repeat itself.

In a press conference, Romley assured the public that, while his investigation will not look at the same factors as the Phoenix police probe, he would turn over any information he finds that is related to the alleged sexual assault.

A 29-year-old patient, who has been housed at the facility in the area of 16th Street and South Mountain Avenue since she was 3, gave birth to a baby boy Dec. 29.

The investigation has no set timeline, Romley added, and said some aspects of the investigation could remain off limits to the public.

But Romley said Hacienda HealthCare officials have given him their full assurances that “this matter was serious and they wanted to correct this.”

A statement released by the board on Monday said Romley will have “unfettered access to every facet of Hacienda’s business — including all the records related to this matter and all the operational procedures related to the (Intermediate Care Facilities for individuals with Intellectual disability) unit.

“We will do everything we can to aid this review and, once it is complete, to make sure this unprecedented situation never, ever happens again,” part of the statement read.

A 911 call released by Phoenix police last week showed that employees at the facility were not aware that the patient was pregnant until the baby was delivered.

The mother and baby have since been removed from the facility and are recovering, police said.

Phoenix police have since launched a sexual assault investigation in relation to the birth.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141.

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Hacienda launches internal review after vegetative patient gives birth