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Nevada Governor Responds to Patient Dumping Allegations

SACRAMENTO-

Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg started demanding answers about possible patient dumping back in March, writing to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This week the city attorney of San Francisco promised to sue if the claims about Nevada prove true.

Now, that state’s governor is talking.

“It’s an ongoing investigation. It’s not a systemic problem,” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said Tuesday.

That’s the first word from Sandoval about allegations now two-months old, allegations that his state has been dumping mentally-ill homeless patients onto the streets of California.

“Let me be clear, improperly discharging one patient is one too many. I take the concerns regarding Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital very seriously and it is not the policy of the State of Nevada to engage in patient dumping as has been alleged,” Sandoval said in a statement.

Back in March FOX40 talked to a homeless advocate who believed she encountered a ‘dumped’ patient at Friendship Park in Sacramento.

“It just seems so irresponsible and unethical,” said Molly Simones.

Simones tried to help James Flavy Coy Brown when he came to her  office with a harrowing tale in mid-February.

He told her been put on a bus after his group home closed in Las Vegas and he was transferred to the Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital.

There, he told Simones, he was given a greyhound bus ticket and three days-worth of medication for schizophrenia and depression.

He had no family in Sacramento and had no idea why he and four of his roommates were given tickets to four different California cities.

“He was just very scared and lost and confused,” Simones shared in March.

Some Rawson-Neal hospital staff have been disciplined since Brown’s case surfaced.

And though Governor Sandoval says dumping isn’t a systemic issue, our partners at the Sacramento Bee have reported more than 1,500 of the state’s patients from Rawlson-Neal psychiatric hospital have been bused across the U.S.  in the last 4 years.

The circumstances of those cases are still being investigated.


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