Sacramento Bee series on patient dumping honored as Pulitzer finalist

The Sacramento BeeApril 14, 2014 

The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas on May 2, 2013.

PHILLIP REESE — The Sacramento Bee

Two Sacramento Bee reporters were honored Monday as Pulitzer Prize finalists in the investigative reporting category.

Bee staffers Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese were named finalists for a series of stories stemming from one man's account of his discharge from Nevada's primary hospital for mentally ill people to a Greyhound bus bound for Sacramento. The man had never before been to Sacramento and had no ties or treatment plans in the area.

Hubert and Reese subsequently found that the facility exported about 1,500 patients by bus over five years, in some cases without arranging for treatment or securing housing for them in advance.

Some of those patients wound up on the streets or in jail in their destination cities, The Sacramento Bee found.

The stories led to policy changes at the hospital, which lost its accreditation and remains under scrutiny by state and federal authorities.

The stories won the 2013 George Polk Award in Journalism and the 2013 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism.

Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., won the Pulitzer for reports on "how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease," the Pulitzer board said.

Also named as a finalist was Megan Twohey of Reuters for her "exposure of an underground Internet marketplace where parents could bypass social welfare regulations and get rid of children they had adopted overseas but no longer wanted," the board said.

Read The Sacramento Bee's series on patient dumping here

Read the full report on the 2014 Pulitzer winners in journalism and arts

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