Mass Resignations At Nonprofit Where Patient was Raped

The C-Suite at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix is pretty much cleaned out with at least 10 executives tendering their resignations in the middle of a scandal where an incapacitated patient was raped, impregnated and gave birth this past December.

Nathan Dorceus Sutherland, a certified practical nurse responsible for the victim’s care, was arrested in late January after DNA evidence showed he was a match to the woman’s baby. Hacienda voluntarily gave the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) licensing authority over its operations, and last month announced it would close that facility, one of its four locations in the state.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s Office issued a statement regarding the mass resignations. “The Arizona Department of Health Services was notified late today that some members of senior management staff are no longer with Hacienda, along with the termination of Mr. Romley’s contract. Since then, ADHS has been onsite and coordinating to ensure the health and safety of the patients at their facilities. ADHS is working to gather more details.”

The Mr. Romley mentioned in the statement is former Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley, who was contracted as an internal investigator to review Hacienda HealthCare’s practices. He, too, announced he would no longer be involved with the organization.

Announced via a statement reported by KGUN-TV in Phoenix, Romley said: “My issues are with the Board of Directors and not with senior management. I felt that senior management was making tremendous progress towards addressing many issues, but it was the Board of Directors that were the problem. As I stated in my initial press conference that if I felt that the Board of Directors would not address the issues appropriately and if I did not have full cooperation then I would resign.”

A spokesman with the ADHS said its employees have been monitoring the facility on-site and patient care shouldn’t be affected.

In a Friday statement in response to the announcement of multiple high-level resignations, the ADHS announced that the state had “met with Hacienda leadership and their independent third-party administrator to discuss Hacienda’s management situation and review the progress of the voluntary regulatory agreement. This agreement will give the department increased regulatory oversight over Hacienda, putting in place additional accountability and quality control measures. ADHS hope to have an agreement in place next week.”

Those who resigned include: CEO Patrick White, Vice President of Corporate Communications Nancy Salmon, COO-Clinical Kayte del Real, COO-Clinical, COO-Operations Kevin Payne, CFO Joe O’Malley, Director of HealthCare Support Services Tina Meredith, Director of HealthCare Support Services, Director of Corporate Compliance Marianne Love-Day, Director of Patient Care Services McKenzie Gillies, Director of Patient Care Services, Director of Nursing Valerie Brehm and board member Kevin Berger, M.D.

Tom Pomeroy, who was Hacienda’s board chairman for 38 years, also resigned. CEO Bill Timmons had resigned in January.