KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The CEO of Covenant Health, which Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is a part of, has commented on how hospital security officers treated Lisa Edwards.
Covenant Health CEO Jim VanderSteeg told reporters on Friday that what he saw on the video showing how Lisa Edwards was treated verbally was “unacceptable” and that he was “more than disappointed.”
“Our desire is to treat everybody with dignity and respect, and in that moment some of the things that I heard were not dignity and respect, so that’s unacceptable to us and I can assure you we’re dealing with it. Beyond that we’re doing a full investigation. We are… Covenant Health… um patients are first at Covenant Health. That’s why we exist.” VanderSteeg said.
VanderSteeg told reporters that a thorough investigation is being done within the company, looking at “everything.”
“I will tell you the thing that concerns me today is, when I watched the tape, is the the words that are used that are just totally unacceptable. To me, as the CEO of the company, and to our company and I can assure you that’s already been addressed, and and there’ll be further education going forward. I tell you, we have so many heroes at Covenant, who do incredible things for patients every day, and the way they should be painted is as… as heroes. When we do something that’s not acceptable, we will deal with that and we are dealing with it.” He said.
The tape that VanderSteeg refers to is the video released by police showing officers interactions with Edwards before she was found unresponsive in police care. In the video, security officers can be heard saying “She was a big pain in the [explicative] inside the hospital.” and “She’s just a neurotic lady.”
VanderSteeg assured media whatever improvements need to happen will occur. He also added that Edwards’ family is in his thoughts and prayers.
“I’m sad. My family is sad. We’re sad for the Edwards family and we… I literally pray for them. I… I hate that this happened,” VanderSteeg said. “I’m sad for the family. I’m sad that they’ve had a a loss of their family and they have uh they’re in my thoughts and Prayers for sure.”
To read the full timeline of what has happened surrounding Lisa Edwards’ death, click here.