CEO resigns after woman in vegetative state for years gives birth at healthcare facility
The CEO of a specialty healthcare facility in Phoenix, Ariz., has stepped down following a recent report that a female patient was impregnated at Hacienda HealthCare and gave birth to a child more than a decade after a near-drowning put her in a vegetative state.
Bill Timmons resigned from Hacienda HealthCare on Monday, a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. Timmons had served as president and CEO of Hacienda HealthCare for 28 years, according to the company’s website.
“Timmons’ resignation was accepted unanimously by the Hacienda Board of Directors,” spokesperson David Leibowitz said in a statement to Arizona’s Family, the local CBS affiliate.
The resignation comes following a report that a woman gave birth to a baby boy at Hacienda HealthCare on Dec. 29. The allegations suggest a sexual assault occurred at the facility sometime in the early months of 2018.
Police told Global News last week that they are investigating a matter at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix. They declined to provide any additional details.
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The Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed to the Arizona Republic on Friday that a woman gave birth at the Hacienda HealthCare facility’s address.
“We are aware of this situation and are actively working with local law enforcement in their criminal investigation,” a spokesperson for the department told Global News in a statement. “Upon learning of the allegation, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) initiated an onsite complaint investigation to ensure the health and safety of the patients and ensure the facility is in compliance with all state laws and regulations.”
Staff at Hacienda HealthCare were allegedly alerted to the pregnancy when they heard the woman moaning, according to an unnamed source at the facility.
“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” the unnamed source told Arizona’s Family last week.
The source said the child, a boy, was delivered alive with the help of a nurse.
Hacienda 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,” said Gary Orman, executive vice-president of the Hacienda board, in a statement on Monday.
Orman said Hacienda will continue to cooperate with police and investigating agencies.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees,” Orman added.
The woman was non-communicative in every way, according to one of her former caregivers who spoke to ABC15. The unnamed caregiver said the woman’s family visited her every few months in a large group of about 15 people.
The caregiver said she was outraged that such a thing could go unnoticed, especially when staff worked intimately with the patient on a daily basis.
“I can’t believe someone would bathe her for nine months, never know she wasn’t having her period, she wasn’t growing in her midsection,” the caregiver told ABC15.
“That nurses weren’t keeping track of her weights. Those things are just shocking to me,” the individual said.
Hacienda HealthCare serves more than 2,500 people throughout Arizona every year, according to its website. The organization cares for children and young adults with chronic illnesses and physical or mental disabilities.
Several parents have expressed concern about the well-being of their children at Hacienda’s facilities in the wake of the birth.
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“My heart hurts, my chest hurts. I haven’t been able to sleep good at night because of what occurred here,” Angela Gomez, who was at the facility to visit her son, told local news organization Arizona’s Family.
Gomez says she saw heightened security in the hallways during her visit. However, she still wants to have him transferred to another facility.
“I am concerned that what occurred with this woman can very well occur to my son,” she said.
“Trust has been broken,” said Karena Cesena, whose 22-year-old daughter has lived at the facility for several years.
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