JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine and District Attorney Steve Finney met on Wednesday following a letter by Finney alleging poor treatment of a rape victim last month at a Ballad hospital.
This conversation came as an internal review is underway at Ballad Health in response to the letter.
In the letter, Finney claimed a woman who was reportedly kidnapped and raped in Johnson City on Sept. 27 was forced to endure what he called a “second nightmare” while getting care at the Johnson City Medical Center. He wrote that she was made to wait in an emergency room waiting area, rather than being taken to a special sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) room. It also alleged she waited several hours to be seen – long enough that her mother reportedly flew from Memphis to the Tri-Cities before she’d been given a rape kit – and was treated poorly by staff.
The victim in Finney’s letter specifically named three SANEs, who he said were unresponsive to multiple calls from a sexual assault advocate who was with the patient.
After Wednesday’s meeting, a Ballad Health spokesperson released a statement saying that Levine and Finney spoke by phone and called the meeting “productive.”
Ballad went on to say the employees the DA accused of being unresponsive were out of state at the time the victim was at the hospital. The statement claimed all three were attending training by the International Association of Forensic Nurses related to their certification as (SANES). Ballad went on to say “These nurses were not unresponsive, and they did nothing improper.”
Ballad said its internal review is ongoing and that they won’t comment until “all the facts are known and appropriate information is communicated to the district attorney.”