Ex-mental hospital chief helps study patient safety

The former N.C. mental hospital director who resigned after using state money to buy a portrait of herself is on the special team studying patient safety at Cherry Hospital.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that Patsy Christian has been sent to the Goldsboro facility to help officials revamp policies following the death of a patient who staff left unattended for more than 22 hours.

Department spokesman Tom Lawrence said Christian is experienced and qualified to help the hospital.

In June, Christian resigned as the director of Central Regional Hospital in Butner after the state investigated how she commissioned a portrait with state funds. State officials have said the money and portrait have since been returned. Associated Press