Another one to add to a growing pile of scandals you could call it. Dallas police admitted today that they are starting to investigate the sexual assault case of a 13-year-old girl at Timberlawn, the psychiatric hospital in East Dallas which has a horrible reputation.
The CEO of Timberlawn hospital refused to speak to reporters on this latest scandal, but said it was cooperating with the police department and issued a short statement: “The care and safety of our patients, including their privacy, is Timberlawn Behavioral Health System’s top priority.”
Closing the 144-bed Timberlawn facility on Samuell Boulevard in East Dallas would severely put a strain on the council’s facilities for these types of patients, but it is undeniable that the reports which have come out of the hospital over the past few years are very harsh indeed.
In the past three years, there have been numerous scandals and even two deaths.
In 2014, a depressed female patient told staff that she felt suicidal and asked staff for help but did not get any. She hung herself with a bed sheet that night.
In 2015, the hospital staff could not account for the whereabouts of six of its patients whilst it was found that two were having sexual relations with patients.
For this reason, health officials cut federal funding for Timberlawn in 2015 and issued a 1 million $ fine to its owner. The company appealed however and had its license restored soon after. The fine was cut to 200,000 $ after Timberlawn management had convinced authorities it would improve
Then in 2016, a patient, in a fit of rage, tackled a doctor who slammed her head to the floor and died.
The hospital is owned by Universal Health Services Inc. (a 10 billion dollar publicly traded company) which sees it simply as another number in their books. According to an investigative report from the Dallas Morning News, over a dozen of the company’s hospitals in Texas have safety problems.