Illinois nurse sues nursing home, claims she was fired for bringing up COVID-19 concerns

A nurse claims she was fired from a nursing facility for "insubordination" after voicing concern about COVID-19 safety issues, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Andrea Hinich, RN, alleges she was fired from Chicago-based Norwood Crossing April 22 after refusing to distribute personal protective equipment to staff without "fit testing," according to a lawsuit filed May 20. Federally required, fit testing helps determine the proper size gear for each individual, and ensures that staff understand how to wear gear appropriately.  

Administration allegedly told Ms. Hinich that they "don't have to do the fit testing" and that the PPE was given to staff only to "make them feel better." 

Ms. Hinich was hired in June 2019 as the assistant nursing director at Norwood Crossing. Her bosses allegedly "reacted in hostile and negative ways" when Ms. Hinich pointed out multiple issues at the center, including improper infection control and a lack of COVID-19 treatment protocols and staff training.

The suit was filed against Norwood Crossing Association and parent company Norwood Life Society. Ms. Hinich claims she was fired without warning and given false reasons for termination. The nurse is seeking at least $100,000 in damages.

A Norwood Crossing representative did not immediately return the Chicago Sun-Times' request for comment.

More articles on post-acute care:
Nursing homes fall short of federal testing recommendation
Wisconsin to test all nursing home residents, staff
Serious infection control issues found at 10 Life Care facilities, CMS says 

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