Huntington Hospital OB-GYN under ‘Peer Review’
By Terry Miller
A Pasadena OB-GYN accused of sexual misconduct has been removed from a leadership role at Huntington Hospital and will have a chaperone while treating patients at the hospital, according to officials at the Pasadena hospital.
Dr. Patrick Sutton, OB-GYN, allegedly made comments about a patient’s appearance and sex life in a complaint filed with California Medical Board, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
“I am very troubled by these allegations. Huntington Hospital takes seriously all issues of patient health and safety, and we are working closely with Medical Staff to receive updates on this matter,” said Lori J. Morgan, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Huntington Hospital.
Eileen Neuwirth, executive director of communications and brand strategy at Huntington Hospital, told Pasadena Independent that an investigation of Sutton’s comments is currently under review.
In the meantime, according to Neuwirth, “Hospital personnel were informed that Dr. Sutton is no longer serving in a leadership role in our obstetrics and gynecology department. In addition, Dr. Sutton has agreed to have a chaperone present while providing care to his private patients while they are in the hospital. Finally, Dr. Sutton is no longer on our OB call panel list, and thus he is no longer on call to be assigned to patients who arrive at Huntington Hospital in labor and who do not already have an OB physician. These changes are effective immediately as we await results of further review by the Medical Board of California and our medical staff”
“All of Huntington Hospital’s physicians, including Dr. Sutton, are members of the Huntington Hospital medical staff. Members may be granted clinical privileges based on recommendations from the medical staff. California law prohibits hospitals from directly employing physicians. As required by California law, the medical staff is a separate, self-governing legal entity.
“The medical staff actively conducts ongoing peer review of its members, including Dr. Sutton’s practice at our hospital, and the medical staff has the benefit of the information disseminated by the Medical Board of California about its actions concerning Sutton.
“The hospital is working closely with the medical staff to support its efforts.
“California law makes the medical staff’s peer review proceedings and records confidential. This helps ensure that physicians feel free to participate candidly in the peer review process. For that reason, the hospital and the medical staff aren’t permitted to disclose any details about the peer review,” Eileen Neuwirth stated in an email.