Another staff member resigns at Hacienda HealthCare facility where incapacitated woman gave birth

Another staff member resigns at Hacienda HealthCare facility where incapacitated woman gave birth

March 2, 2019

Two doctors leave the Hacienda HealthCare facility where a patient in an incapacitated state gave birth

Another staff member of Hacienda HealthCare in Arizona resigned Friday, adding to the mass exodus of employees amidst the scandal of an incapacitated woman who was raped and gave birth at the facility last December.

Kerri Masengale, the facility's director of specialized therapy and group homes, turned in his letter of resignation.

"Though I had hoped to remain with Hacienda Healthcare during this unfortunate time of restructure, due to previous personal experience (and subsequent lack of trust) with the newly appointed acting CEO, Perry Petrilli; my final day of employment shall be Friday, March 15, 2019," Masengale wrote in his letter.

It's unclear what the "previous personal experience" was.

Perry Petrilli is listed as a leader in the ICF unit, reported, citing the facility's website. He will be taking over as CEO, the publication learned on Friday night.


It was also announced Friday that nine members of the company's management team resigned or were terminated, according to Phoenix' KTAR 92.3 FM.

The resignations include the chief financial officer, director of nursing and vice-president of corporate communications, who gave two weeks' notice.

Attorney Rick Romley, who was hired by the facility for an internal investigation, also quit Friday. The former top Phoenix prosecutor terminated his contract, which was to look into how the patient was sexually assaulted at the facility.

"When I started this assignment, I made it very clear if I was not able to conduct my work with complete objectivity and if any issue came up that caused me any concerns, I would terminate my contract," Romley said.

It was unclear if anyone would resume the investigation he started.


Romley said he believes several employees who quit would come back if there was an entirely new board.

In a statement Friday, Hacienda's board of directors confirmed an employee shakeup.

Patrick White, who stepped in as CEO in January, and the directors of clinical and patient services were all terminated Thursday, the board said.

The facility will "continue to be managed by a third-party manager and her staff, subject to ongoing negotiations with the Arizona Department of Health Services," according to the board's statement. "To date, no patient's care or safety has been compromised by any of these changes."

The organization said it is seeking to fill the positions of board president and an undisclosed number of board seats.

In January, one doctor resigned while a second doctor was suspended, a spokesman of the facility told Fox News in a statement then.

"The two physicians who were responsible for the care of the sexual assault victim are no longer providing medical services to Hacienda patients," the spokesman said.


Phoenix police also launched a criminal investigation that led to the arrest of a nurse, Nathan Sutherland. Investigators said DNA from Sutherland, 36, matched a sample taken from the newborn. He has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse.

The facility has since bolstered security measures. They include the installation of dozens of cameras and monitors, enhanced security and retraining for every staff member on identifying and reporting abuse and neglect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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