A long-term care facility in Arizona has agreed to state oversight in an effort to avoid closing after an incapacitated patient was sexually assaulted and later gave birth.
The Arizona Department of Health announced on Friday that it will step in to oversee the facility in Phoenix.
"Given the high medical risks associated with transferring these patients, moving this medically fragile community is the option of last resort and not the state's goal," the agency said in a statement reported by NBC News.
The announcement came one day after the Hacienda Healthcare’s board of directors said that it would shutter the facility, deeming that it was no longer sustainable to operate.
The facility has been at the center of scrutiny after a 29-year old woman who has been incapacitated for more than 14 years gave birth unexpectedly to a healthy baby boy in December.
A former licensed nurse working for Hacienda HealthCare, 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland, was arrested after a police investigation and charged with sexually assaulting the woman. He has pleaded not guilty.
The state is now requiring the Phoenix facility to hire a third-party health care consultant to oversee the operations, as well as have an on-site evaluator to supervise, NBC News reported.
An independent review team will develop a long-term plan within 90 days to implement changes, the state health department said.
The agreement will allow the 37 patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities who require a high level of medical care currently at Hacienda from being relocated.
The patients’ families were troubled at the prospect of having to quickly rearrange care on such short notice, NBC News reported.
Heidi Reid-Champigny’s 55-year-old brother has been at Hacienda for eight years.
"It's completely inappropriate that they would close," she told NBC News. "The only thing that Hacienda is guilty of is trusting someone that we had no reason not to trust.