Legacy Health accused of retaliating against nurse who raised patient safety concerns

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A former nurse at Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Health who told state health officials about dangerous patient conditions at Legacy Health's Unity Center for Behavioral Health in Portland claims the health system's management retaliated against him for raising concerns, according to the Portland Tribune.

The nurse, Christopher Lambert, quit his job at Legacy. Mr. Lambert filed a complaint to the state Bureau of Labor and Industries that claims Legacy management sought to punish him after he brought up safety issues. The complaint also alleges management sought to conceal safety problems in more than one instance by preventing him from talking to state investigators.

Mr. Lambert's complaint comes as Legacy officials work to be removed from CMS' termination track. CMS will take away the facility's federal funding if the safety issues are not resolved by Oct. 31.

After the Portland Tribune shared a copy of the complaint with Legacy and asked for comment, the hospital system posted a statement on its website.

"Legacy Health was recently made aware of an individual complaint brought by a former employee with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries," the statement said. "Many of the allegations already have been the subject of review by other agencies. As with any investigation, Legacy Health and Unity Center for Behavioral Health will fully cooperate with [the Bureau of Labor and Industries]."

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