As the Inquisitr previously reported, an Arizona woman who has been in a vegetative state for over 14 years gave birth last week, prompting a sexual misconduct investigation of the nursing facility she was housed in, Hacienda Healthcare. On Monday, the CEO of the facility, Bill Timmons, announced his resignation, which was unanimously accepted.
The nursing facility has been under careful scrutiny since they announced that a female patient, unbeknownst to staff, was pregnant. The staff of Hacienda Healthcare had no clue the woman — who had been in a coma since a drowning incident 14 years prior — was with child until she started grunting, making noises, and eventually went into labor.
As a source for AZFamily revealed, the incident prompted a major change in regards to female patients in the facility. As of last week, any male staff member who wished to enter a female patient’s room had to be escorted in by a woman on duty. Though the baby was born healthy, an official investigation is still underway, and many family members of current patients residing in the facility have spoken out about the lack of trust they now have for Hacienda Healthcare. They’re unsure if the new procedures will, in fact, keep their family members safe.
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“Trust has been broken. Trust has definitely been broken. I do not [know if my daughter was victimized], but I do ask her, and she can answer yes or no. She is not able to walk or talk yet, but she does understand,” Karina Cesena, who’s 22-year-old daughter has been in the same facility as the victim for several years, told AZFamily.
As Timmon’s resignation was announced on Monday, Hacienda Healthcare spokesperson David Leibowitz said that under the CEO’s direction, the facility has added several programs to provide medical and therapeutic services to patients living in the unit, including infants, children, and people with disabilities.
Leibowitz also revealed that the Hacienda executive vice president, Gary Orman, would accept nothing less than a full accounting and investigation into the situation, and that everyone involved in the incident is horrified, including the staff, the family of the victim, and the families of those still living under the care of Hacienda Healthcare.
“I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible. And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees,” Leibowitz continued in his statement.
The investigation continues, and no suspect in the sexual assault has been named as of yet, but Arizona lawmakers are now brainstorming ideas on a new piece of legislation that will help keep patients in nursing facilities safe. One idea, borrowed from Louisiana, is to have security cameras installed in patient rooms so that the families can keep a watchful eye on their loved ones while they are unable to be there in person.