Jackson County District Attorney Investigating Complex Drug Diversion Claims At Medford Hospital

MEDFORD, Ore. — Leading the District Attorney’s (DA) investigation into whether crimes were committed in the allegations of drug diversion at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (RRMC) in Medford, Jackson County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Patrick Green, said, “It’s going to go down as the most complicated case our office has ever handled.”

Green, a political candidate for the Jackson County District Attorney position, couldn’t confirm whether the case involves deaths in the potentially criminal drug diversion investigation, but did mention that dozens of victims are involved.


Investigation Into Drugs Allegedly Diverted At Asante RRMC

The DA received the results of the Medford Police Department (MPD) investigation into the theft and misuse of controlled substances by a former Asante nurse that resulted in serious infections in numerous patients in early April. Green and his team are carefully examining the results of the MPD  investigation in this complex case, where formal charges have not yet been filed. He said it’s important that the DA takes the necessary time to make sure they get it right. He said, “With prosecution, you’ve only got one shot at it. There’s no ‘do-overs’ if you don’t get it right.”

The MPD investigation commenced in December 2023 when Asante reported possible drug diversion at one of its hospitals in Medford. The DA’s Office review of this investigation extends across thousands of documents, including interviews with dozens of witnesses and medical records.

Green said trust is a priority for him. Public trust relies on a reliable and responsible medical system for its health care, and in this matter, that trust extends to the DA, police, and justice system according to Green. He said the number of victims, witnesses, and documents make this a complex case complex, and more victims still could come to light.


Lawyers Considering Civil Lawsuit In Drug Diversion Deaths

Based in Central Point, the law firm, Idiart filed a civil lawsuit in February while MPD’s investigation was still underway into a now-former Asante nurse who was accused of replacing the liquid pain medication, fentanyl, with tap water. Allegations indicate that this led to an infection in a patient who died 30 days after being admitted to Asante in 2022.

Green confirmed that in a hospital, patients expect to be taken care of in the right way. He said that when that doesn’t happen, and there is greater harm coming out of the hospital stay, it’s a huge problem.  He has had the same concerns as the general public since day one.

David deVilleneuve of Shlesinger & deVilleneuve Attorneys says his law firm is also looking into 74 client cases, aside from a new case received from a prospective client who indicated that they had been contacted by Asante just this week to disclose that a family member who died there could have been adversely affected by infection under investigation.

Green thanked the MPD for its diligent and meticulous work and assured the community that he is working hard to review the results of the investigation expeditiously. He asked that anyone who thinks they are a victim but hasn’t spoken to law enforcement yet should contact law enforcement. They should not contact the DA’s office as they don’t conduct investigations and the reports need to be filtered through the police department first.

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