Facility Where Injured Patient Gave Birth To Close

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News)

The company that operates a long-term care facility in Arizona where an incapacitated patient gave birth after being sexually assaulted says the facility will be closed, but state officials oppose the decision.

In a statement, Hacienda HealthCare said its board of directors "has come to understand that it is simply not sustainable to continue to operate our Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled," NBC News/Associated Press reported.

The company said it is working with state agencies to transfer patients in the facility to other locations. There are 37 patients in the facility, according to NBC affiliate KPNX of Phoenix.

In late December, a 29-year-old woman with significant intellectual disabilities who had been a patient at the facility for years gave birth.

A former nurse at the facility was arrested Jan. 22 and charged with sexual assault. Nathan Sutherland, 36, has pleaded not guilty.

The decision to close the facility is "disturbing news" and not in the best interest of patients, state regulators said. The state had ordered Hacienda to hire a third-party management team to oversee daily operations, but Hacienda and the outside party weren't able to reach a long-term agreement, NBC News/AP reported.

"We encourage Hacienda to work with the state to find a path forward," the Arizona Department of Economic Security said in a statement, the AP reported. "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."

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