Nurse Practitioner Dyer terminated
In a move that seemed to shock, confuse, and anger some in the Block Island community, it was learned on Tuesday, May 28 that Nurse Practitioner Liz Dyer was terminated from her position at the Block Island Medical Center, where she has worked for the past eight years.
The termination was confirmed early that morning by Block Island Health Services Board of Directors President Cindy Baute.
According to Baute, Dyer was fired by Dr. Mark Clark. Clark submitted his own letter of resignation on May 1, 2019 and is effective Nov. 1.
Dr. Clark, in a statement, said that Dyer was terminated with the consent of the 13-member Board of Directors. Dyer, in reacting to the news, said she was “heartbroken.”
Clark, in that statement issued to The Block Island Times, said the following: “BIHS has been on a trajectory of improvements of quality, scope of services, and professionalism over the last four years. As CEO and Medical Director, I am charged with continuing our progress for the good of the Block Island Community. Yesterday, Liz Dyer’s employment with BIHS was terminated without cause. This decision was made by me with the support of the Board of Directors. We are grateful for her services and wish her well in her next endeavors. I am committed to remaining with BIHS as long as necessary to ensure continuity of high quality care for our patients, uninterrupted emergency and primary care services for our community, and stability through this period of continued growth and transition. I am working with the BIHS Professional Advisory Committee to determine the optimal provider staffing model for the Medical Center moving forward.”
Some of Dyer’s patients reacted with great emotion.
Resident Claire McQueeny said she felt that many elderly patients were going to be denied their primary care physician and that they would have to go off island for their medical care.
Through tears, McQueeny said, “I am so appalled at their decision to make us infirm, as I shall say, to go to the mainland for basic medical care. It’s appalling.” McQueeny said she had a fall the last time she went to see a doctor on the mainland. “I am very timid about going to the mainland since then, and this has made it impossible for me to get medical care on the island,” she said. “I’ve talked to other older women who feel the same way. It’s unfair and it’s stupid.”
Dyer issued a statement to The Block Island Times on Wednesday, May 29: “On Monday evening the majority of the staff met with the BIHS board in closed session. Approximately four-and-a-half hours later, I received an email from Dr. Clark to meet Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. with he and Mrs. Baute at the Medical Center. At this meeting, I was given a letter of termination. I cannot and shall not comment further on the circumstances of my termination at the advice of legal counsel.”
“To the people of Block Island, my people: I am brokenhearted. For the parents who have entrusted the care of their children to me, I thank you. For the residents of this island, who I cared for as primary care, the senior citizens especially, and all those in between, please know it was a privilege to spend time with you. It has been a delight to know you personally, and I can certainly attest that all of you gave more to me than I could ever give to you. That is, love, kindness, trust, respect, and friendship. We have had a wonderful eight years together, I look forward to our paths crossing again, somewhere, in the future. Although, I am not here for you now as your provider, I am always here as your neighbor and friend. Sometimes things have a way of working out, just as they were meant to.”
“Linda Closter and Mary Donnelly, it goes without my saying, that both of you, as nurses, have always practiced the art of caring, and I’m grateful to you both. Linda Closter is and will always be an island treasure, whether I am beside her or not to continue the good care of the Medical Center. For my colleagues Greta, Heather, Alison, and Terri, thank you for helping me do my best work, being my friend, and always being a support to me and one another.”
“Lastly, thank you also to the people who have been so very good to my mom. Her residence on this island has been made so much better because of the Senior Advisory Committee and Lunch Bunch, who picked up where I could not when I was working.”