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Hacienda gets state license in wake of new Arizona law after alleged assault

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The long-term care facility at Hacienda HealthCare where an incapacitated patient was sexually assaulted and gave birth last year is now licensed by Arizona, meeting recently enacted regulations.

The intermediate care facility in Phoenix received a license to operate from the state Department of Health Services on April 26, spokesman David Leibowitz announced Tuesday.

The license will remain in effect until March 31, 2020. Arizona Department of Health Services spokesman Chris Minnick confirmed that the department issued the license.

The facility was not previously licensed by the state.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1211 into law earlier this month, requiring that all intermediate care facilities for patients with intellectual disabilities get state licenses by January 2020.

The law also requires that all facilities meet certain federal legal requirements, such as mandates for patient care, record-keeping, caregiver education, patient diet and medical care.

Hacienda said it was the first facility to be granted a state license.

Leibowitz said Hacienda has also implemented a correction plan to the unit, hired more security officers and a security director, installed more than 40 security cameras, as well as electronic entry equipment and key codes, and enacted a more strict visitor identification and visitation process.

Acting CEO Perry Petrilli said in a statement that the facility is “laser focused” on two goals: Ensuring that residents are in a safe and therapeutic environment and regaining the trust of every resident, family member and the state.

“We continue to make progress at Hacienda and being granted a license for the ICF affirms that we’re on the right path,” Petrilli said.

“We aren’t going to stop making positive changes until we achieve those goals.”

The facility has been under fire since December, when a 29-year-old patient gave birth at the Phoenix facility.

Nathan Sutherland, a former nurse who was responsible for caring for the woman, was arrested in January. He has since pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report. 

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