Investigators found some problems at North Star to be so serious, they were deemed “immediate jeopardy” situations at the time, meaning the health and safety of patients was at risk.
State officials say the reorganization will result in two departments that should be more wieldy.
Federal District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled in October that Dunleavy and his former chief of staff violated the First Amendment rights of two state doctors by requiring them to sign what they deemed a loyalty pledge. The Legislature must now decide whether to fund settlement payments of $495,000 in the state budget.
On multiple occasions, the hospital’s CEO Scott York provided inaccurate information to investigators, according to the report.
By Tuesday, the state was reporting more than 7,500 known active coronavirus cases, and nearly every region in Alaska was in a “high-alert level,” meaning there’s widespread community transmission “with many undetected cases and frequent discrete outbreaks.”
Eight people connected with the psychiatric facility, 3 staff and 5 patients, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
“No other staff or patients have shown symptoms of the disease,” a statement said. “The employee took excellent precautions to minimize the risk of exposure.”
The most noteworthy item that wasn’t included in the budget was the more than $800 million that Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said Alaskans are owed in permanent fund dividends.
While Alaska’s state-owned psychiatric hospital has renewed federal certification, it still struggles to recruit staff and increase capacity.
The company will continue to work at the facility through December. The state also has hired a contractor to study whether it makes sense to privatize API.