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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA surgeon offered second chance after being wrongly accused

	Courtesy of UANews

	Dr. Rainer Gruessner, suspended chairman of the Department of Surgery at the UA’s College of Medicine, has filed a $18.96 million claim against the UA.

Courtesy of UANews

Dr. Rainer Gruessner, suspended chairman of the Department of Surgery at the UA’s College of Medicine, has filed a $18.96 million claim against the UA.

The University Physicians Healthcare board of directors officially accepted the recommendations put forth by a panel acknowledging the wrongful dismissal of a former UA surgeon.

Following the recent recommendation by a panel of three surgeons that Dr. Rainer Gruessner was wrongfully dismissed, the UPH board of directors announced Friday afternoon at a meeting that it will make several offers to Gruessner in hopes of resolving the conflict, according to an official statement by the University of Arizona Health Network.

Gruessner, who had been working at the UA since 2007, was asked to step down from his position as head of surgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center last year after allegations that he altered medical records.

Gruessner said that Dr. Steven Goldschmid, the former dean of the College of Medicine — Tucson, raised those allegations in retaliation after Gruessner expressed concern over the direction of the development of the medical school. Goldschmid did not respond to the Daily Wildcat to make a comment.

The UA Committee of Eleven had come to Gruessner for an interview about concerns regarding the college, and he had stated his concerns, Gruessner said. The Committee of Eleven is responsible for looking into issues that the UA faculty may have.

“I think really what happened was retaliation,” Gruessner said.
Gruessner also said that Goldschmid did not write evaluations of his performance. Goldschmid was asked to step down from his position as the dean, Gruessner added.

According to Gruessner, a similar situation happened to Dr. Steven Barker, a professor of anesthesiology. The Committee of Eleven came to him for an interview, he explained concerns he had and the dean wanted to retaliate, Gruessner said. Barker could not be reached for comment.

According to an official statement, UPH will accept the independent panel’s recommendation of reinstating Gruessner and pay his salary for either another year or until he finds a new position.

The statement also said it will remove allegations it made against Gruessner to the Arizona Medical Board. According to the statement, the UPH made allegations of “unethical conduct” against Gruessner.

The UPH board expressed its desire for Gruessner to accept the board’s decision. According to the statement, the board is “willing to apologize to Dr. Gruessner, thank him for his role in building the transplantation center at [the UAMC] and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The board is now waiting to hear Gruessner’s decision about its offer.

“We accept the panel’s recommendations, which clear the way for a fresh start,” said UPH Board Chairman Steve Lynn in an official statement. “It is now time for all parties to move on and get back to the business of health care.”

—Follow Meghan Fernandez@MeghanFernandez”:https://twitter.com/MeghanFernandez

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