A new chief executive officer begins at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center this week, almost a year after the last one resigned. Michael Phillips says he wants to focus on the facility’s stabilization of an early outbreak of the coronavirus, rather than its recent rocky past.
“My vision is to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our residents,” Phillips says.
For the last few years, he ran Silver Lake Medical Center, a small acute-care hospital with campuses in downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.
At the same time, Laguna Honda itself was in scandal: from 2016 to 2019, staffers had sexually abused and photographed residents without their consent, abused residents verbally, made mistakes in medications and gave residents medicine that wasn’t prescribed to them in order to restrain them, according to a state investigation. Even after a high-profile press conference, regulators made immediate jeopardy findings last summer, indicating that patients weren't yet safe.
A criminal investigation into the abuse remains open; some staffers were fired.