Mid-South trauma center receives disturbing news in state report

Shelby County's only trauma center got word from the Tennessee Health Department in a 43-page report: comply or lose Medicare eligibility.

The pages include violations such as rape, reporting failures, safety problems.

The most explosive incidents revolve around a room where the MED housed Memphis Police suspects in need of medical care.

In one case, Ignacio Medina was charged with raping a fellow patient who later died.

In another, a female patient claimed a male sheriff's deputy touched her inappropriately.

"We're not challenging what the state is asking us to do, but we need to start doing it right away," said Dr. Bruce Steinhauer, MED President.
Dr. Steinhauer says several housekeeping changes are underway.  The MED the jail diversion unit back to its old location where staff members have a better line of sight.
The report also says the hospital failed to report three premature baby deaths.  Now, the MED has a new checks and balances plan for better record keeping.

Mayor AC Wharton held an emergency meeting with the hospital board.

"Many of the things that absolutely needed to be done, we're about three-quarters of the way into," Wharton said.

He says noncompliance is not an option.  "This is why I'm pressing the board.  With the right oversight, all of these conditions can be corrected," Wharton added.

The MED will have new oversight.  The mayor confirmed Board Chairman Lewis Donelson is stepping down from his 10-year position.  He says the resignation had no link to the report, but that changes must happen.

"If after instilling and implementing those safeguards, we find, or the board finds that there are some limitations  on the ability of the doctors or the nurses, we'll fix that too," the mayor said.
The MED has until September 9th to comply.  Dr. Steinhauer said he's confident they will comply by Thursday.  The state will check in to make sure it happens.

Action News 5 has also learned local businessman Jack Morris will become chairman next Tuesday.