Guam Federation of Teachers says hospital is retaliating against Shimabukuro for her whistleblower testimony at the legislature
Although Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro has resigned from her position as the assistant administrator for medical services at Guam Memorial Hospital and departed the island, it's clear that GMH management hasn't heard the last of her.
Before Shimabukuro left Guam, she filed a notice of 'constructive discharge,' which protects her right to take legal action against GMH in the future.
Management had shuffled Shimabukuro between a number of positions during her tenure. She had served as director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Director of Medical Education, Physician Quality Improvement/Compliance Officer and Assistant Associate Administrator of Medical Services.
The insider observations of the doctor, later shared with the Guam Legislature sparked outrage by members of the GMH administration expressed in subsequent news conferences.
Dr. Shimabukuro claims breach of contract, violations of GMH bylaws, and violations of territorial and federal laws governing work environments and handling of whistleblower claims that were “so abusive and hostile” that she was “unable to tolerate continued employment,” according to her letter of resignation.
Meanwhile, the Guam Federation of Teachers, of which the doctor is a member, is calling out GMH for filing a report on Shimabukuro to an online data bank that tracks medical malpractice and other wrongdoing by physicians. According to a letter from GFT union rep Robert E. Koss to the Guam Civil Service Commission and Guam senators, the doctor "has not been accused of or found to have committed any medical malpractice or suffered any adverse actions related to her healthcare practice, nor has she been criminally convicted or subject of any civil judgement. The action of the GMHA Hospital Administrator to file such a report against Dr. Shimabukuro with the NPDB following her testimony at the Guam Legislature revealing deficiencies of the GMHA management is considered an act of malicious retaliation specifically intended to harm the doctor's reputation nationally in order to cause her harm and suffering."