The Phoenix, Arizona intermediate care facility where a patient was raped and recently gave birth will be closing its doors.
According to the Arizona Republic, Hacienda Healthcare, made the announcement on Thursday, noting that its board of directors, “after a great deal of consideration, has come to understand that it is simply not sustainable to continue to operate” the facility.
However, not everyone was as thrilled with the decision as you may think, with Gov. Dough Ducey writing that the facility’s “lack of cooperation with the state to assure the care of this vulnerable population is concerning and must be addressed.”
“For some patients at the facility, this is the only home they know or remember,” Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak said. “Forcing this medically fragile community to move should be a last resort. Everyone’s first priority should be protecting their health and safety.”
The Arizona Department of Economic Security also called the announcement “very disturbing news”
“State agencies are exhausting all efforts to bring this to a conclusion that is beneficial to the patients, some of whom have been at this facility nearly their entire lives,” department spokesperson Tasya Peterson said. “They are the ones who should come first, without question. This approach simply does not meet that test.”
Hacienda Healthcare plans to begin to start transitioning its patients until it ultimately ceases to operate.
But, according to the Republic, there is no other private alternative in the state, as Jon Meyers, the executive director of the Arc of Arizona, a nonprofit that represents Arizonans with intellectual disabilities, pointed out.
According to Meyers, the other intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities are state-operated, and many do not have the capacity for Hacienda patients who are being transitioned.
Nonetheless, it is perhaps not surprising after the facility was met with swift backlash last year after a 29-year-old woman, who family described as having “significant intellectual disabilities,” gave birth, allegedly surprising doctors.
Last month, one of the woman’s caretakers, Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, was arrested on charges of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse after his DNA “matched the baby”