San Francisco hospital CEO resigns amid patient abuse scandal

Health officials allege six staff members systematically abused patients at a San Francisco hospital between 2016 and 2019, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health launched an investigation of the Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in February. The city-run hospital serves as a live-in care facility for 780 patients.

Health officials on June 28 said that 23 patients allegedly endured physical and verbal abuse from six staff members. The investigation revealed staff members took inappropriate pictures and images of the alleged patient abuse, which they sent to each other via text message. Some patients also received non-prescription drugs for sedation purposes, the health department said.

"The San Francisco Department of Public Health and Laguna Honda Hospital have no tolerance for the mistreatment of residents," San Francisco Director of Health Grant Colfax, MD, said in a June 28 statement on the hospital's website. "In response to our findings, we have immediately taken steps to ensure patient wellness and safety."

The six employees accused of the abuse have been fired, and administrators from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital are temporarily managing the hospital.

Laguna Honda CEO Mivic Hirose, RN, MSN, has also resigned. Maggie Rykowski, the health department's chief integrity officer and director of the Office of Compliance and Privacy Affairs, will act as interim CEO until a replacement is found. The health department also said the hospital's chief of quality management has been placed on administrative leave and will not return.

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