Wife of Florida health system CEO arrested, charged with nurse battery

A woman was arrested after police said she kicked two nurses at a hospital within Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System, of which her husband serves as CEO.  

Kristen Hiltz was arrested on two counts of battery of emergency care providers, according to Naples Daily News. Ms. Hiltz is married to Paul Hiltz, who has served as CEO of NCH Healthcare System since 2019. 

The charges stem from Ms. Hiltz's Oct. 18 visit to NCH Baker Hospital. She kicked two registered nurses in the chest around 11:15 p.m., according to police records cited by the local news outlet. The nurses plan to press charges.

Hospital security was called immediately after the incident and operating procedures were followed, a hospital spokesperson told Naples Daily News. When the Naples police arrived on the scene seven hours later, Ms. Hiltz was intubated in the intensive care unit. She was released Oct. 24 and turned herself into local police, where she was arrested. 

NCH Healthcare System told Naples Daily News that safety officers and emergency department staff were able to control the situation safely, and it did not immediately require police intervention. 

NCH Healthcare System told Becker's the safety and well-being of staff and clinicians is its top priority and that it cannot comment on specific cases due to HIPAA.

"I am saddened by this incident and any violence against our healthcare colleagues will not be tolerated," Mr. Hiltz said in a statement shared with Becker's. "The safety of my teammates at NCH is my top priority and always has been. This patient incident was handled no differently than any other and I fully support the rights of our NCH healthcare team.

"Healthcare professionals deserve the utmost respect and compassion for the tireless care they provide our patients," Mr. Hiltz said. "Every NCH teammate deserves to be safe and secure, and I am especially concerned for the two nurses who were directly affected by this incident. To all our staff and clinicians who serve on the frontlines every day, thank you for your excellent care and continued commitment." 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation in May to enhance criminal penalties for people who knowingly commit assault or battery upon workers at a hospital. Under the law, assailants who assault a worker at a hospital face a misdemeanor charge of the first degree rather than a misdemeanor charge of the second degree. 

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