The embattled Hacienda HealthCare announced Friday it intends to close its Mesa children’s hospital because of rising costs.
Hacienda Children’s Hospital is a 24-bed facility with four patients. The hospital, at 610 W. Jerome Ave., will remain open until all patients are discharged or until a new owner for the hospital is found, according to a statement issued Friday.
The children’s hospital opened in 2015 to provide “step down” care to children who are ready to leave surgical or intensive-care but not ready to go home. The hospital’s 42 employees will likely be offered positions at other Hacienda facilities, according to Petrilli.
Hacienda HealthCare made international news this year after a 29-year-old incapacitated patient in its intermediate-care facility in Phoenix was raped and gave birth to a baby boy. One of the woman’s male nurses, Nathan Sutherland, was indicted in January on multiple charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He has pleaded not guilty.
Perry Petrilli, Hacienda HealthCare’s interim chief executive officer, said in a statement Friday that the nonprofit doesn’t have a surplus revenue to sustain the children’s hospital in the face of difficult circumstances.
“The tragic events of the past year have hit hard for so many people – everyone from the victim and the families impacted to Hacienda’s employees to the communities we serve,” he said. “At the same time, there also has been a substantial impact to our business. This hard, but necessary decision is one more example of that.”
He said that because Hacienda took on “enormous unbudgeted costs” over the past year, including legal costs and costs associated with a variety of new security measures at its intermediate-care facility, it could not continue to operate the children’s hospital.
In June, maggots were discovered near the surgical incision of a 28-year-old patient at the Hacienda intermediate-care facility at 1402 E. South Mountain Ave in Phoenix.
Earlier this month, Petrilli led an Arizona Republicreporter and photographer on a tour through the resident rooms and two recreation areas at the embattled Hacienda’s East South Mountain Road facility — the first time media has been allowed inside since news of the rape broke in January.
Though its state license and Medicaid contract remain in peril, Hacienda’s 60-bed intermediate-care facility is still open, though it has not admitted any new residents since Jan. 3.
It has 34 residents with intellectual disabilities and other complex medical needs, including hearing, vision, breathing and heart problems. Twenty-nine of the residents require a respiratory therapist.
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The 20,900-square-foot Hacienda Children’s Hospital will provide inpatient and rehabilitative care, plus training for family members.
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