Arizona governor orders increased regulations after assault of woman in care facility

Arizona governor orders increased regulations after assault of woman in care facility
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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday issued an executive order directing state agencies to increase protections for people with disabilities in long-term care facilities, and requiring state-funded care facilities to train employees on how to prevent and report abuse.

"All Arizonans deserve to be safe — and we have a special responsibility to protect those with disabilities,” Ducey said in a statement.

The additional regulations come a little more than a month after a woman in a coma for more than 14 years gave birth at a Hacienda Healthcare facility in Phoenix. A nurse at the facility was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting the woman. He has pleaded not guilty.

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The Associated Press reported that Arizona lawmakers are also considering legislation that would require facilities like Hacienda Healtchare to apply for state licenses and conduct background checks on employees who interact with residents.

A committee in the state Senate reportedly delayed a vote on the measure on Wednesday amid concerns the bill might be too broad.

If passed, the new regulations would apply to the state's 11 intermediate care facilities, the AP reported. Such facilities provide more services than assisted living centers, and less than nursing homes.

The CEO of the Hacienda Healthcare facility in Phoenix resigned last month in the wake of reports that the woman at the center gave birth. The incident prompted police investigations and state-wide reviews of such facilities.