Hacienda HealthCare is no 'hellhole,' families say

Family members of two residents at Phoenix-based Hacienda HealthCare, which is under fire for issues including maggots and sexual assault, say media reports have sensationalized what is otherwise a high-quality long-term care facility.

In an op-ed for AZCentral, Alan Strobel, MD, the father of a Hacienda resident, and Heidi Reid-Champigny, the sister of a resident, wrote, "The Hacienda we know in no way resembles the hellhole you've seen depicted in breathless news broadcasts."

Health officials have threatened to revoke Hacienda HealthCare's license and Medicare funding following a report in June of maggots in a patient's wound, and allegations earlier this year that a former nurse sexually assaulted a patient in a vegetative state.

"As guardians who see firsthand Hacienda's day-to-day quality caregiving and passionate commitment to our loved ones, we oppose these decisions in the strongest possible terms," Dr. Strobel and Ms. Reid-Champigny wrote.

The families conceded that the facility is not perfect. The sexual assault case is "tragic," and they "would be destroyed should a family member be similarly victimized," but it was a single event, they wrote. They added that the case with the maggots warrants further review, as the larvae could have been brought into the facility on laundry. 

The family members said Hacienda has gone to great lengths to improve the facility and put significant funds behind new safety initiatives.

Read the full column here.


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