Doctor says gender the reason she lost her practice in Junction
A former Grand Junction anesthesiologist is suing Community Hospital, saying that she lost her practice there because she is a woman.
Dr. Hana Teissler said in the suit filed in Mesa County District Court that she was squeezed out of a job when a group of anesthesiologists left St. Mary’s Hospital last year and took up work at Community Hospital under an exclusive agreement with Community.
“They’re all guys” who didn’t want a female anesthesiologist in the group, said Teissler’s attorney, Sandy Karp of Glenwood Springs. “It’s just petty politics.”
Teissler, who now has an anesthesia practice on the Front Range, added discrimination claims to her lawsuit after the Colorado Civil Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission both issued notices of her right to sue on grounds of discrimination.
Her suit also says that revocation of her privileges at the hospital was unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious and that Community had interfered with her prospective business relations and advantages.
In court papers, Community Hospital and the anesthesia group denied all the allegations.
Community Hospital CEO Chris Thomas could not be reached for comment.
Community Hospital said in court papers that Teissler retained privileges and was a member of the active medical staff at the hospital.
Teissler said she was edged out of her practice at Community last year when seven anesthesiologists resigned from practice at St. Mary’s.
The anesthesiologists, Sigma Alpha, Michael Ash, Ernest Hoeckel Jr., William Martin, Nell Martin, Richard Moore and Joseph Wataha, left Anesthesia Consultants of Western Colorado and St. Mary’s Hospital last March.
Some of those anesthesiologists later opened their own practice, Community Anesthesia Consultants, at Community.
When that happened, Teissler said in her lawsuit, she was forced out because the hospital gave Community Anesthesia Consultants the exclusive right to practice at the hospital.
The consulting group also rejected her application for membership, even though she was more qualified than some of the members of the group, Teissler said in the suit.
But Community Anesthesia Consultants denied that in its response to the suit.
Even though she was denied privileges at the hospital because of the exclusive agreement with the competing group, another anesthesiologist who was unaffiliated with Community Anesthesia Consultants and who had “quality issues” was allowed to practice at Community, Teissler said in the suit.
A male anesthesiologist who was not board certified was allowed to practice at the hospital under a professional-services agreement, Community said in court papers, but it didn’t identify the anesthesiologist.
No trial date has been set in the case.