Then there’s the crisis at the University of Michigan hospital.
Last May, a resident physician at U-M hospital found a thumb drive left in an employee lobby computer. She wanted to make sure to return it to whichever co-worker it belonged to, so she clicked through folders to find whose it might have been. Instead of finding a name, she found graphic images of nude children.
Stephen Jensen, also a resident physician, was found (six months later) to have child porn not only on his left-behind thumb drive, but also at this house and on his computer. Read the details here:
Enter crisis one: A U-M hospital physician (who is also in pediatrics, but police say there’s no foul play there) is charged with having copious amounts of child pornography.
It doesn’t end there, however. The original report, which was submitted by the resident physician who found the flash drive in May, was swept under the rug within a week. She was told there wasn’t enough evidence to continue with an investigation, and the hospital DID NOT notify police.
Jensen continued to see patients, including children, for over six months.
Read the below article to get a sense of what exactly happened:
Check out a TV report from WXYZ Detroit here. (Having trouble embedding the video!)
So, we have a physician accused of having child pornography, which went six months without being exposed, then the hospital finally reports the claim to police. And it’s still not over.
Enter crisis two: The six-month lapse in reporting the issue to police.
It was later reported, after the hospital released the time frame of the events, that over ten people, including administrators and a regent, knew about the thumb drive’s images and who was logged in at the time (Jensen).
Please read the timeline: http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/timeline/
Also see the administration’s reaction to the six-month time lapse:
University of Michigan regent calls six-month lapse in reporting child porn ‘extraordinarily disappointing’
As if this wasn’t enough bad news for the hospital, there was another report about the internal confusion with security and their relationship with police officials. Security officers were identifying themselves as law enforcement and even routing 911 calls to their own offices, not to an outside agency.
Security or police? Unclear role at University of Michigan hospital contributed to child porn reporting delay
Here is where you, as one of the PR practitioners for U-M hospital, must step in. There’s two major things to consider: the crisis of having a pediatric physician found with child pornography, and the lack of urgency on the administration’s side with reporting coupled with the security debacle.
How can you regain the trust of the citizens of Ann Arbor, and the nation, after this ordeal?
Did hospital administration seem transparent?
Were there any prodromes for either crisis? If so, what could they have done to prevent this?
What changes could be made to have a more clear role of hospital security and how they interact with police?
How do you think the U-M hospital admin SHOULD have acted? Was there anything you think they did correctly?