No Foul Play in San Francisco General Hospital Death; State Health Dept. Investigating - NBC Bay Area

No Foul Play in San Francisco General Hospital Death; State Health Dept. Investigating

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dos and Don'ts of Good Sleep
    Scott Budman/NBC Bay Area
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    A forensic examination on Ruby Andersen, whose body was found at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital campus Wednesday afternoon, concluded that no foul play was involved in her death, according to the city's Department of Public Health.

    The San Francisco medical examiner's office has not yet determined a manner of death and is expected to complete a report in the coming weeks, health department officials said.

    Andersen, 75, was reported missing May 20 from the hospital's campus, although she was not a patient there.

    An engineering employee discovered Andersen's body in the stairway of a power plant facility on the hospital's campus around 1 p.m.

    Officials Acknowledge Systemic Problems in SF General Death

    [BAY] Officials Acknowledge Systemic Problems in SF General Death

    A 75-year-old woman found dead 10 days after vanishing from a California Public Health Facility on the San Francisco General Hospital campus was the apparent victim of cracks that persist in the system aimed at protecting patients, officials acknowledged Thursday. Jean Elle reports.

    (Published Thursday, May 31, 2018)

    The building is only used by hospital staff and is not regularly patrolled by deputies, according to Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, whose deputies provide security for the hospital.

    Roland Pickens, director of the Department of Public Health's San Francisco Health Network, said Thursday, "We've learned that up until this point, the access to the power plant building has been open from 6 a.m. to 6

    p.m. to allow the constant flow of staff and materials in and out of that building."

    Health department officials said several new security measures have been in place in wake of Andersen's death. Changes include badge-only access 24-hours a day and the installation of additional alarm and camera systems at the power plant building.

    The department's next step will be to review its annual comprehensive security assessment of the entire 23-acre campus to identify any other risks.

    According to Hennessy, after Anderson was reported missing, a deputy began investigating by calling Andersen's family, checking the hospital to verify she hadn't been admitted, checking the city's jail, entering her information into a missing persons database, and checking with

    the medical examiner's office. In addition, a flier was made about her disappearance and circulated around the hospital's campus.

    The investigation into Andersen's death is ongoing and is being conducted by the city's health department as well as the sheriff's department.

    The California Department of Public Health will conduct its own investigation, focused on the power plant building, health department officials said. The state health department licenses the hospital.

    The California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, which licenses the resident care facility for the elderly and the adult residential facility located at the Behavioral Health Center on the hospital's campus, is also conducting an investigation.

    In October 2013, the body of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding was found in October 2013 in a hospital stairwell after she had been reported missing the previous month.

    Spalding, a British woman, disappeared after being admitted to the hospital only two days earlier.

    According to a report by the medical examiner's office, Spalding had been dead for some days before being discovered. Her death was ruled accidental, due to an electrolyte imbalance, a condition that can be caused by dehydration.

    Spalding's death triggered a set of new security protocols for hospital staff and sheriff's deputies, who provide security for the hospital. Additionally, the city settled a lawsuit with her family for nearly $3 million.

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