Please learn more about the important ongoing case of RN Amanda Trujillo, a conscientious Nurse who has been punished strikingly severely for providing routine patient education that inconvenienced and angered a physician who demanded her job and her license. Her State BON has still not decided her case after a year, and she remains an unemployed single mother.
For a fine summary of the known facts, see ” thenerdynurse.com/2012/01/arizona-nurse-has-license-threatened-by-doctor-after-providing-patient-education.html ” If, as I and many others have after much research and reflection, you find her cause worthy and just, please participate in our advocacy campaign. It requires little commitment, cost, or effort:
As part of this effort, I have respectfully submitted the following by e-mail and the preferable snail mail:
“The Honorable Janice K. Brewer, Arizona Governor…
As a concerned citizen and Nurse, I wish to make you aware of a matter that troubles me, and increasingly, many others.
Roughly one year ago, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Arizona terminated RN Amanda Trujillo from her Nursing position there. The case has been researched and described in detail by many Nursing bloggers: for an example, see http://thenerdynurse.com/2012/01/arizona-nurse-has-license-threatened-by-doctor-after-providing-patient-education.html There are too many other examples to list here in the time I have available, and countless new mentions arise daily – I have been unable to take them all in myself despite some significant effort – on various Social Media fora. The circumstances leading to this action have led many to suspect that her rights may not have been respected in this matter, that her termination was a disproportionate and unjust response to proper and professionally required patient education that reportedly inconvenienced and cost potential revenue to a staff physician who was witnessed having a tantrum in open hospital areas, leading to a demand that she lose her job and license to practice.
Additionally, my research into your truly admirable public records – easily navigable and well-organized – has found the following information:
The most recently available data indicate a reported percentage of AZ BON customers (including roughly 35,000 licensees) rating BON service as very good or excellent as 7%. Thus, 93% offer lower ratings, further details of which I have been unable to find.
On average, the AZ Board of Nursing (BON) takes 7.4 months after a complaint is submitted for it to be presented to the board, although only an average of 17.4 hours of investigation time is spent to bring a case to conclusion. In contrast, Amanda Trujillo’s case has not yet been resolved nearly 12 full months after the original complaint was filed. In that time, she has remained unemployed – imagine seeking a professional position with your license in doubt. Whatever the original allegations, and they seemed rather weak to many, a year of effectively suspended licensure seems unjust.
As part of an ongoing interest in conflicts of interest in American health care, it has come to my attention that the following AZ BON members have troubling connections with Banner, the source of the current complaint by Banner officials against Amanda:
Dr. Kathy Malloch, BON Vice President, is the President of KMLS, a consulting firm whose web site lists two Banner hospitals in Arizona as clients.
Patricia Johnson, Board Member, works at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale.
Further, Attorney Kathryn L. Busby’s current firms’ web site reports she currently works as general counsel and in other roles for an unspecified “large health plan.”
I do not mean in any way to attack these individuals’ character or motives. However, it is my understanding that conflicts of interest are well known to exert an undue influence on the decision-making of those affected, regardless of good intentions: a universal facet of human nature. I therefore believe, consistent with ample legal and other precedent from many areas of modern life, that conflicts of interest in all matters of the public welfare including health care should be minimized to absolutely the greatest extent possible, and that such conflicts that remain must be made public whenever possible. Conflicts of interest greatly contribute to the waste, corruption, and inefficiency that continue to plague America, costing us all money we no longer have.
Judge Louis D. Brandeis once said it best: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman”. In that context, I have made all the above information available to any interested parties.
I should note that a growing number of Nurses and others, currently numbered in the thousands and growing rapidly, have become aware of these troubling data. In addition, multiple Nursing and Medical colleagues experienced with Banner Health have reportedly indicated a suspicion that Banner may routinely file BON and other regulatory board complaints regarding fired employees. There have been posted suspicions that Banner may abuse these systems to improve their position in any civil suits that might arise, which seems to an admitted non-expert an abuse of limited resources. If true, such practices may well explain the unfortunate delays (7 months!) and perhaps scant investigation (17 hours!) in processing complaints to BON. One Nurse, who recently left Nursing work in AZ to return to Massachusetts, felt that allegations against Banner seemed plausible in light of her experiences working (not for Banner) in your fine state. She felt working conditions were notably less favorable than she had become accustomed to here, and this perception contributed strongly to her decision to leave the state. I take no position, myself, on the validity of these opinions, although they certainly trouble me.
As I often teach Student Nurses, new Nursing program graduates, and more experienced Nurses, I am often asked for informal career advice. What am I to tell those considering work in Arizona? I wish to request whatever information you may have to offer regarding the quality, supervision, and regulation of Nursing in Arizona. As I have been an active advocate on Amanda’s behalf recently, I suspect with admittedly a poor grasp of the topic that any direct contact with AZ BON at this point would be counterproductive and improper. While I in my ignorance would not interfere with their work, I have contacted your office for three reasons: first, if your web resources are any indication, Arizona is a well-governed state with an admirable level of transparency. Second, matters of public welfare should be open to public scrutiny in any democracy. Third, having enjoyed visiting Arizona and having a well regard for its residents, I felt you should know of matters potentially damaging it’s reputation in the eyes of a rapidly growing group of individuals.
Thank you for your consideration in these important matters.
I trust your judgement, and eagerly await any advice you might offer.
Greg Mercer, MSN”
Please note the following contact information, as found in the link that follows:
The Honorable Janice K. Brewer, Arizona Governor
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phoenix Office: (602) 542-4331
Tucson Office: (520) 628-6580
Fax Number: (602) 542-1381
Finally, please participate in our advocacy campaign: