An attorney for seven women accusing a former Legacy Emanuel Hospital employee of sexual abuse said Friday the hospital received numerous complaints that went unheard.
Jeffrey McAllister, an ex-emergency room nurse arrested last July on allegations he sexually assaulted nearly a dozen patients, faces 10 criminal complaints.
But Legacy Emanuel only looked into three such charges, an apparent oversight that worried federal health authorities, KOIN 6 News learned Friday.
One of the women who accused McAlister told KOIN 6 News she is still suffering from emotional trauma. She said shes become more anxious and now wants to fight back by telling her story.
I want to fight them because I dont think it should happen to women after me, she said.
In October 2009, the woman who asked to remain anonymous went to the emergency room at Legacy Emanuel. Thats when, she said, she was sexually abused by McAlister.
I called down (to Legacy Emanuel) and spoke with a woman and I had told her that Jeffrey McAlister had touched me inappropriately, she said. I waited for her call for about a week and never received a call back.
She said she called back but still heard nothing back.
I know they didnt care, I know they didnt, because just the way she was to me on the phone was so brief, like she didnt ask me any real questions. I had to ask everything.
She said she felt Legacy Emanuel probably hadnt believed me anyway since I havent gotten a response back. How do I fight them? So I just gave up.
The hospital received a stern warning letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services threatened to cut about $250 million in Medicaid payments to the hospital, a hospital official confirmed.
A concern attorney Mark McDougal said could lead to trouble for Legacy Emanuel.
Hospitals have systems in place patient care is a No. 1 concern bedside manner is a concern even if you dont believe people. What are you going to do with somebody who has a bedside manner who has all these complaints? Once, twice complaints of a sexual nature and youre not writing them down?
Legacy Emanuel officials declined to speak with KOIN 6 News, but did release a statement. It said, in part:
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we truly wish we would have uncovered his conduct earlier. But at this time, we followed an investigation process that we believed was reasonable under the circumstances.
McAllister awaits a criminal trial, expected to begin this fall.
McAllister worked at Legacy as an emergency room technician from 2005-2008, and as a registered nurse from 2008-2013. He was fired after April 2013. Portland police said he worked as a nurse at St. Vincent Hospital and Mid-Columbia Center.
He was also a police officer for the Seaside and Beaverton police departments between 1996-2004. McAllister worked as a reserve officer for the Independence Police Department in 1997.