TX physician pleads guilty in nurses’ whistle blower case; coughs up $750K

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Galle (left) and Mitchell (right)

Two nurses who lost their hospital jobs and endured criminal prosecution after reporting a physician to the Texas Medical Board over patient safety concerns will receive $375,000 each in a settlement of a federal lawsuit they had filed against their former employer, the physician, and other parties.

The case of the 2 nurses, Anne Mitchell, RN, and Vickilyn Galle, RN, became a cause célèbre in healthcare circles nationwide, especially among nurses who worried that they, too, could be punished for blowing the whistle on physicians they deemed dangerous to patient health.

Rolando Arafiles Jr, MD, on Nov 7, pled guilty to criminal charges in a state court in Winkler County, Texas, for retaliating against 2 nurses who had anonymously reported him in 2009 to the Texas Medical Board (TMB) over the quality of his patient care.

The case set off a national conversation on the protection afforded healthcare whistle-blowers.

Nice job, girls!

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