ARIZONA NEWS

Hacienda patient claims she was yelled at, struck by staff members

Jan 18, 2019, 9:10 AM | Updated: Jan 23, 2019, 11:05 am
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A patient at Hacienda HealthCare, where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth last month, claimed she was yelled at by staff members and struck in the head and arm.

A facility representative said the patient, identified as a woman who suffers from a “serious intellectual disability,” made the allegation against two female staffers — a registered nurse and a certified caregiver.

“As we always do when such claims are made, Hacienda acted immediately and proactively. Leadership immediately called police, state regulatory agencies and the patient’s legal guardian,” the representative said in a statement.

The patient was given a full and thorough medical examination and displayed no signs of injury or abuse.

The patient has a “history of attention-seeking behavior” and the staffers both have “spotless records,” according to the facility. The employees have been placed on administrative leave.

The claim was reported on Thursday during a survey of Hacienda’s intermediate care facilities by federal and state auditors.

An investigation is ongoing.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the department has received information about a possible assault but has not been able to corroborate any of the information.

A 29-year-old San Carlos Apache Tribe member, incapacitated since she was 3, became pregnant after she was sexually assaulted at the long-term care center. She gave birth at the Phoenix facility on Dec. 29, prompting a sexual assault investigation. She is no longer at the facility.

The facility announced Monday that it is launching an internal review led by former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley.

Phoenix police are investigating the incident and collected DNA swabs from male employees last week.

The victim’s family, through a lawyer, said in a statement that they were “disappointed to see that…Hacienda’s leadership chose not to express any remorse or apology for Hacienda’s inexcusable failure to protect and safeguard their vulnerable daughter.”

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Hacienda patient claims she was yelled at, struck by staff members