PHOENIX — ABC15 has learned that 10 members of the management team at Hacienda HealthCare, including its CEO, have resigned, leaving questions over the care of dozens of patients still being treated at the Phoenix facility.
The mass resignation comes on the heels of Thursday's announcement that Tom Pomeroy, who served as Hacienda's board chairman for 38 years, was set to resign Friday.
The board was alerted to the departures of top officials on Wednesday, sources tell ABC15. Those resigning include:
- Nancy Salmon, Vice President of Corporate Communications
- Patrick White, CEO
- Kayte del Real, COO-Clinical
- Kevin Payne, COO-Operations
- Joe O'Malley, CFO
- Tina Meredith, Director of HealthCare Support Services
- Marianne Love-Day, Director of Corporate Compliance
- McKenzie Gillies, Director of Patient Care Services
- Valerie Brehm, Director of Nursing
- Kevin Berger, M.D., Board Member of Hacienda HealthCare Inc.
The majority of employees leaving the company said they would be terminating their contracts effective March 13 or 15 days from now, "whichever is later."
According to sources, White has said to the board that because the resignations require alerting governmental agencies, "it is anticipated that there may be an immediate request to move Hacienda’s patients."
Saturday morning, ABC15 confirmed Perry Petrilli will take over as Hacienda HealthCare's CEO following White's resignation.
The facility has been under fire since January, when it was discovered that an incapacitated woman had been raped and had given birth on Dec. 29. Nathan Dorceus Sutherland, a Certified Practical Nurse responsible for the victim’s care, was arrested in late January after DNA evidence showed he was a match to the woman's baby.
Following Pomeroy's resignation on Thursday, a spokesman with Gov. Doug Ducey's office said Arizona Department of Health Services employees have been monitoring the facility on-site and patient care shouldn't be affected.
In a Friday statement in response to the announcement of multiple high-level resignations, the DHS said:
Ensuring the health and safety of patients at Hacienda remains the top priority of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). After being informed about the departure of several members of the senior management team at Hacienda on Thursday, ADHS immediately arrived onsite to ensure the health and safety of patients. After a thorough review, ADHS has concluded that there is no immediate concern that these departures have negatively impacted the care patients are receiving at Hacienda. ADHS will continue to monitor Hacienda and staff will remain onsite to safeguard the health and safety of patients.
In addition, ADHS today met with Hacienda leadership and their independent third-party administrator to discuss Hacienda's management situation and review the progress of the voluntary regulatory agreement. This agreement will give the department increased regulatory oversight over Hacienda, putting in place additional accountability and quality control measures. ADHS hope to have an agreement in place next week.
Thursday evening, following the announcement of Pomeroy's resignation, former Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley, who was contracted as an internal investigator to review Hacienda HealthCare's practices, also stated his intent to terminate his contract.
"My issues are with the Board of Directors and not with senior management. I felt feel that senior management was making tremendous progress towards addressing many issues, but it was the Board of Directors that were the problem. As I stated in my initial press conference that if I felt that the Board of Directors would not address the issues appropriately and if I did not have full cooperation then I would resign."
After Romley's announcement, a spokesperson for Governor Doug Ducey's Office issued the following statement:
"The Arizona Department of Health Services was notified late today that some members of senior management staff are no longer with Hacienda, along with the termination of Mr. Romley’s contract. Since then, ADHS has been onsite and coordinating to ensure the health and safety of the patients at their facilities. ADHS is working to gather more details."