Surgeon linked to Sparrow Carson's infection control issues accused of sexual harassment in 2014: 7 things to know

The orthopedic surgeon associated with recently publicized infection control issues at Carson City, Mich.-based Sparrow Carson Hospital was accused of sexual harassment by a surgical assistant in 2014, according to a report from the Lansing State Journal.

Here are seven things to know.

1. A female surgical assistant at Sparrow Carson Hospital filed a complaint in 2014 with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights against Raymond Allard, DO, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital with whom she'd had a long-term romantic relationship.

2. In the complaint, the surgical assistant alleged Dr. Allard discriminated against her due to her weight and gender. The complaint contained statements from nine witnesses. Several witnesses said Dr. Allard told the complainant to get off her "fat ass" in front of patients and coworkers, and told patients the complainant needed to "get laid." Witness testimony also alleged Dr. Allard hit on single female patients and patients' daughters, according to the Lansing State Journal.

3. The surgical assistant filed a personal protection request in Montcalm County against Dr. Allard in June 2014. In the request, she described Dr. Allard as an "employer/ex-lover " who "uses his position of power as a doctor to control and manipulate me," according to the report. Court filings indicate the request was never granted. The hospital settled with the employee in a confidential agreement reached in December 2014.

4. Allard faced two other complaints about his behavior in 2015 and 2016. The details of these complaints, which were closed after some investigation, are heavily redacted.

5. The most recent complaint against Dr. Allard occurred Feb. 1, when Jonnie Vanderhoef, MSN, a nurse anesthetist at Sparrow Carson, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the hospital, claiming he was fired after expressing concerns regarding Dr. Allard's infection control practices. Days later, as the result of an investigation conducted in December 2017, CMS threatened to revoke the hospital's Medicare funding due to infection control concerns. On Feb. 16, 10 days after CMS's regulatory action, Sparrow Carson President and CEO Matthew Thompson vacated his post. Mr. Thompson allegedly knew about the previous complaints against Dr. Allard, according to the report.

6. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs investigated Sparrow Carson's infection control issues and identified nine incidents involving Dr. Allard. Last month, hospital officials told the Lansing State Journal Allard "voluntarily suspended his medical staff privileges at Sparrow Carson Hospital," effective Feb. 13. 

7. Ilene Cantor, vice president for marketing and communications at Lansing, Mich.-based Sparrow Health System, shared the following statement with Lansing State Journal March 16 in regards to the complaints against Dr. Allard.

"Sparrow Carson Hospital is unable to comment on the 2014 workplace misconduct allegations against Dr. Allard because they were part of a confidential legal matter involving a domestic dispute," Ms. Cantor said in the statement. "We consistently strive to create the best possible work environment in all Sparrow Health System facilities."

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Maryland healthcare entities settle false billing allegations: 3 things to know

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