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Feb 29,2008
Details revealed in Bend hospital patient’s suicide
by Cheryl McDermott

BEND, Ore. -- Hospital officials and Bend Police on Thursday revealed the identity of the patient, a 51-year old Redmond woman, who, in a suicide attempt, broke away from her escorts, ran up a flight of stairs and jumped from a second-floor balcony to the lobby of St. Charles Medical Center. She died the next day from her injuries.

St. Charles Medical Center 

Cynthia "Cindy" Louise Powell, 51, was being treated at the Bend, Oregon hospital for mental health-related problems, Bend Police Detective Scott Vincent said. Powell reportedly had a history of multiple suicide attempts over the years, and was being escorted through the lobby by two hospital employees when she darted away and ran up a flight of stairs.

Vincent said Powell “immediately climbed over the top of the railing and jumped” to the main floor on Tuesday about 8:20 p.m. Vincent was being taken to Sage View, a nearby residential psychiatric facility.

Powell was being treated for undisclosed injuries she received in the fall, but died the following day about 12:40 p.m., the detective stated in a news release.

Hospital officials didn’t notify police of the incident until Wednesday, a little more than three hours before Powell died.

“This is an extremely unfortunate situation,” said James A. Diegel, FACHE, President and CEO of Cascade Healthcare Community, in a news release issued Tuesday. “We send our deepest condolences to the patient’s family. It is also important to us, as an organization, that we not only provide support to our caregivers, but to the community as well.”

The hospital provided trauma counseling services in both one-on-one and group settings for “anyone affected” by the tragedy, including caregivers and members of the public.

Hospital administrators said that a new policy of using wheelchairs for all future mental-health transfers has been instituted.

At the request of Powell’s family, her organs were donated to the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank, Det. Vincent said.
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