Senior Ketchikan medical executive abruptly leaves job amid retaliation allegations

The PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. (KRBD file photo)

A senior executive at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center has left her job abruptly and will relocate, the nonprofit said in an email to hospital employees.

The hospital’s chief administrator, Dori Stevens, announced on Tuesday that Sherry Dunlay, interim director of acute care, had departed.

That position oversees more than 100 full-time employees at the 25-bed critical access hospital, according to a job post recruiting a replacement.

The Vancouver, Washington-based nonprofit that runs the city-owned hospital declined to elaborate. But Dunlay’s departure comes weeks after a former nurse filed complaints alleging she’d been retaliated against and fired for blowing the whistle on workplace safety and patient care.

Traveling nurse Marian Weber has accused Dunlay of threatening her job after she raised concerns that the hospital couldn’t adequately monitor critically ill COVID-19 patients in its coronavirus wing. She said the hospital planned to place nurses in the room with contagious patients for 12 hours a day instead of transferring them to the intensive care unit, where she says they could be better monitored.

State occupational authorities confirmed they are looking into the case. The nurse was fired and later went public with her complaints.

Dunlay could not be reached for comment.

PeaceHealth says its COVID-19 care has followed state and federal guidelines. But the nonprofit said it wouldn’t comment on personnel matters. The chief administrator says the hospital is recruiting a new acute care director.

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