District Attorney General asks Board of Medical Examiners to investigate incident that led to hospital CEO resignation

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – District Attorney General Barry Staubus is calling for the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners to investigate the incident at Bristol Regional Medical Center that led to its CEO resigning.

In a letter, Staubus has deferred to the Board of Medical Examiners “to investigate any alleged criminal violation of Title 63, Chapter 6 of the Tennessee Code by Greg Neal, former CEO of Bristol Regional Medical Center.”

In the letter, Staubus attached an article regarding Neal’s resignation after he and a physician violated patient policies at the medical center.

On Wednesday afternoon, Ballad Health confirmed the physician involved in the incident was Dr. Nathan Smith. Smith was fired following the incident.

Staubus asked the board in the letter to inform his office should they find any violation of the law that warrants a review by a Sullivan County Grand Jury.

The Tennessee Code Staubus refers to in the letter reads as follows:

(a) The members of the board shall investigate any supposed violation of this chapter and report to the proper district attorney general all the cases that in the judgment of such member or members warrant prosecution.
(b) It is the duty of the district attorneys general to prosecute violators of this chapter.

Title 63, Chapter 6 of the Tennessee Code

Ballad Health issued this statement Wednesday evening regarding Staubus’s letter:

Ballad Health policies are in place to protect patients from harm. When a potential violation occurs, we investigate and report to the appropriate regulatory agencies as required.   In the case of recent events at Bristol Regional Medical Center, we took appropriate action to protect our patients and reported these violations to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Ballad Health

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