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Disability advocate stresses importance of Hacienda HealthCare case

When an incapacitated woman gave birth at Hacienda HealthCare in 2018, it made international headlines. Earlier this month, the release of Phoenix police bodycam footage brought the case back into the spotlight. But one disability advocate says the case never should’ve lost attention.

Jon Meyers is the executive director at the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

"It is fair to say that not nearly enough has happened in the wake of Hacienda," he said.

Former Gov. Doug Ducey’s Taskforce on Abuse and Neglect, which was formed after the incident, has been disbanded; there's a new administration at the helm. And post-COVID-19, the momentum has fizzled. 

"One of the key messages we need to be getting across to policymakers and to the governor's office is that we need to, if not restart the task force, and at least somehow pull together stakeholders pulled together constituents and somehow we energize this movement," Meyers said. 

Meyers says some key pieces of legislation have passed related to requirements for frontline workers. While that's important and good news, Meyers more needs to change.

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.