Somervell County Salon has, as an online news and media (and opinion!!!!) site, been following the Turk case, as well as posting information of public interest. I have received information from Turk's attorney in the past, unsolicited, and posted this info, as well as have posted excerpts from the publicly available court files via Pacer. My interest in this case has always been as an observer as well as a taxpaying citizen who has been concerned that safety issues at the hospital were apparently blown off by the administration. Due to some other circumstances recently, have again been thinking today about the timing of certain actions in the Turk lawsuit.
On June 23, 2015, I received and posted "Critical Safety Concerns by Turks about Glen Rose Medical Center- Historical Communications and Reports" Among others things in this posting was that Ray Reynolds "stated that he did not want Shelly Turk to __any more complaints by email. He said that everything that is documented can be accessed through open records request and he did not want the board of the hospital to find out what is going on in the hospital"
I'm going to stop right here. Regardless of anything else in that set of documents, why would the CEO of the hospital, who is an employee and reports to an elected hospital district board, want to hide things from them, ie, not let them "find out what is going on in the hospital". Suppose this was YOUR company, would you approve of an employee keeping you in the dark? As a side note, remember that, with the current board, Ray Reynolds talked them out of having committee meetings, including budget and finance and quality for 6 months-they STILL, in March of the next year, have had no committee meetings, in violation of the bylaws. He also tried to keep the board members from mentioning the salary of the doctors, whose budget is in Somervell County Hospital District's budget, ie, WE pay for it, even though all this information is public and was shown in an open meeting.
Shelly Turk was reprimanded by Ray Reynolds on June 13, 2014 for going outside the department to help other departments as well as talking to the staff and physicians. READ the documents on that page regarding what happened. Here's what Dr Turk said regarding that.(bolding is mine)
This involved a patient I admitted on 6/7/14. The family of my patient complained to the ER nurse concerning the lack of care by the floor nurses. This was written up by the ER nurse and given to her manager and to the chief-of-staff, both of whom happened to be working that night. They both wrote responses reporting the continued problems on the floor. The good news is that after those reports went out, I saw a remarkable improvement in the med-surg director. He came in and worked Sunday and assisted me in rounds and taking care of the patients. This improvement has continued this week so far, making me pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, he will stop being influenced by the CNO and this improvement will continue. Now if we can get him and his staff to cross-train in the ER where we can expose the floor nurses to more acute patients and to codes in particular, I believe we will finally see some of the improvements that I have been trying to get you to do for almost three years now. The bad news is that on Monday morning, because she sent out that memo, you called the ER director to your office to reprimand her for not getting along with CNO and the med-surg director. She was even threatened with being fired and told to not report any more complaints, even though she was doing exactly what she was supposed to. Are you are trying to hide the fact that the problems still haven’t been fixed under your watch? I, and I believe the other doctors, will continue to insist that everyone continue to bring problems to our attention and to yours so that we can improve our hospital into a facility that provides excellent care of our patients.
This kind of boggles my mind. People may not like complaints, and, as said before, Ray Reynolds apparently doesn't want anything in writing that could cause the elected board to find out there are issues, but normally people want to know the hospital they go to is safe, follows proper medical procedures and fixes problems. The fact that, in late 2014, there was a surprise inspection of Glen Rose Medical Center and Texas DHHS found non-compliance in a number of critical areas, should not be a case to try to bury bad news under the rug, but FIX the problems. ESPECIALLY a hospital.
I didn't know either of the Turks at that time, so hadn't followed that she had actually been fired in June, 2015 until I heard about it from a friend of mine in mid-July 2015. At that point, I picked up the phone, called Shelley Turk, told her she didn't know me but I was wanting to know what had happened. I wrote about this after the first conversation I had with her at "Care about Hospital Safety? Get Fired!!!! Shelley Turk was fired June 26, 2015.
So, look at the dates. I posted material regarding Turks on June 23, 2015. Shelley told me, just remembered, in the phone call I had with her in July that she had been told to tell me to remove that post. Of course, she didn't know me, and had she somehow asked, I would have said no as I believe in transparency when it comes to government. Then she was fired on June 26, 2015.......... 3 days later.
Additionally, someone anonymously put in a complaint about her to the board of nursing in January 2015. Too, someone anonymously complained about Dr Turk. (So it's okay for someone ELSE to anonymously complain about an employee but an employee who spoke up about patient safety should have kept her mouth shut?) Here's what's interesting about that, from the Turk case publicly readable via Pacer on the US Western District website.
Just as a comparison, Ray Reynolds and the last Somervell County Hospital District board seemed to have no issue with having a woman, Liz Morgan, as Director of Human Information (patient records) and HPPA Privacy officer working for them long after it came out that 1. her daughter took a photo of a body bag with a dead man in inside, FROM a hospital office window, and put it on instagram with the caption "I see dead people". and 2. Liz Morgan was put on deferred probation for 10 years (3rd degree felony) for stealing, for 3 years, money from Cottonwood Baptist Church. It wasn't until 2016 when she was arrested for DUI that someone finally took action to remove her. So, people who complain about safety procedures and wanting to better the hospital=BAD but people who are thieves who have access to patient records =GOOD.