Ex-CMO sues Wyoming hospital for $38M, says he was forced to resign for reporting substandard care

The former CMO of Ivinson Memorial Hospital is suing the Laramie, Wyo.-based hospital and its affiliated governmental entities for $38 million, according to the Gillette News Record.

Kenneth Barrick, MD, filed the lawsuit Oct. 25. He began working at Ivinson Memorial Hospital as an ER physician in December 2016 and was later promoted to CMO. He claims hospital officials forced him to resign in August 2019 after reporting substandard care by an under-qualified nurse anesthetist, according to the report.

Dr. Barrick alleges the nurse anesthetist had no supervised CRNA practice experience and was allegedly responsible for a "breach of standard of care" that harmed an obstetrical patient. Dr. Barrick claims the nurse anesthetist was hired after the job requirements for the position were secretly altered and because he was in "an intimate personal relationship" with a senior hospital administrator. The lawsuit does not state which administrator was allegedly involved in the relationship.

Dr. Barrick claims he pointed out the problems associated with altering the job qualification requirements and the potential quality-of-care issues to the hospital's CEO and director of human relations. The issues were not addressed. Instead, defendants told Dr. Barrick he would be fired if he did not resign, the lawsuit alleges.

To avoid a "professional death sentence," Dr. Barrick says he signed a "separation" letter, according to the report.

Access the full Gillette News Record report here.

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