A wave of firings and resignations has hit the troubled Phoenix nursing facility where a patient was raped last year and unexpectedly gave birth in December.
There has been a growing “schism” between the board of trustees and executive team at Hacienda HealthCare, the Arizona Republic reported on Friday. That rift has led to a wave of major resignations at the facility totaling more than a dozen individuals as of Monday, according to local reports.
Nine members of the exec team, along with Rick Romley — a former county attorney who was hired in January to conduct a “no holds-barred” internal investigation at Hacienda — resigned last week alone. They cited “intolerable working conditions” and actions on the part of the board that have “complicated our ability to be successful,” according to the Arizona Republic.
“I felt I couldn’t do my job in an effective manner,” Romley said. “Management was working really hard … I can’t speak well enough about their interest and willingness to do the right thing.”
The chasm between board members and management reportedly grew last week when the outgoing board president fired some of Hacienda’s executives a day after they had tendered their resignations. Those terminations included CEO Patrick White, Kayte del Real, chief operating officer for clinical services, and McKenzie Gillies, director of patient services. President Tom Pomeroy, on the board for 38 years, and another member have also tendered their resignations.
In January, Phoenix authorities charged Nathan Sutherland, 36, a licensed practical nurse, with sexual assault and abuse. The story drew national headlines after his alleged 29-year-old victim — in a vegetative state for decades — unexpectedly gave birth to a healthy baby boy in December.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reportedly made a recent visit to the facility to investigate after the wave of resignations, but found there was no immediate concern to patients.