State psych hospital chief "created hostile work environment"
December 17, 2013
Karen Woods-Nyce, the chief executive officer of Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in Columbus, was ordered removed from her position yesterday after an investigation of an employee’s complaint that she created a “hostile work environment” at the state institution.
Woods-Nyce, 54, was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 1. She was paid $112,676 annually as superintendent of the facility, one of six psychiatric hospitals operated by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. She took the job in April 2011 after working for the state since 1989.
A statement issued yesterday by agency spokesman Eric Wandersleben said that after a “ comprehensive investigation,” the decision was made to “revoke the unclassified appointment of Karen Woods-Nyce as institution superintendent. Final disposition of the matter is expected by the end of the week. The action, which is effective today, is unrelated to patient services and/or clinical care.”
Veronica Lofton, Twin Valley clinical-services director, will remain the acting superintendent until a permanent replacement is found.
Wandersleben said the agency “takes very seriously its duty to provide a safe, respectful environment for both employees and patients within our regional psychiatric hospital system.”
The human-resources section of the state agency issued an investigative report on Dec. 6 that said the matter was based on a complaint from Mandy Smith, a psychiatric nurse who was infection-control coordinator in the hospital. Smith resigned after complaining that her concerns about hospital issues were being ignored and that Woods-Nyce created a hostile work environment.
Investigators said Woods-Nyce made inconsistent statements and tried to interfere with the inquiry.
The report concluded that Smith “was subjected to an untenable work environment due to the behaviors of her co-workers as well as supervisor and managerial failures.” At that point, top agency officials decided to remove Woods-Nyce.
Source: Alan Johnson, "State psychiatric hospital’s chief removed after workplace probe," Columbus Dispatch, December 17, 2013.
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