Saturday, February 27, 2021

Oxford Doctor Allegedly Fired After Speaking Out About Coronavirus Safety

By Kayleigh Skinner and Erica Hensley
for Mississippi Today

An Oxford doctor is one of at least two Mississippi physicians claiming they were terminated for speaking out about their employers’ safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Samantha Houston says she lost her job of four years at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North in late March for “disruptive” behavior. In the weeks prior, Houston, a hospitalist, used Facebook to organize a local donation drive for masks and baby monitors so that hospital staff could cut down on face-to-face interactions with patients.

Dr. Samantha Houston, a physician in Oxford, with her son.

Houston, 34, also says she sent several emails to colleagues raising concerns about the availability of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for some workers.

“Every idea I had was just shut down and dismissed, and I just got very frustrated,” Houston told Mississippi Today. “I just feel like they were not advocating for our safety, and that was what was so frustrating for me. And it really wasn’t even my safety. I felt safe enough because I had an N95 mask and I was able to get in there, but I felt like the nurses were not as safe.”

Ayoka Pond, a spokeswoman for Baptist Memorial Hospital-North, said Houston is not a hospital employee and could not comment on the doctor’s employment without a signed consent form. Messages to Houston’s employer, SCP Health, a Lafayette, Louisiana-based staffing firm, were not immediately returned this weekend.

To read the rest of this story, please follow this link to Mississippi Today’s article.