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2 surgeons sue Omaha hospital, alleging wrongful suspensions

January 4, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two Omaha surgeons have filed a lawsuit alleging they were wrongfully suspended from a children’s hospital after they raised safety concerns following the death of a 7-month-old during an operation.

Drs. Jason Miller and Mark Puccioni contend Children’s Hospital & Medical Center suspended their privileges to practice there after they questioned the skill and competence of the surgeon who performed the operation, according to the Omaha World-Herald .

The lawsuit in Douglas County District Court also names the hospital’s president and CEO, Dr. Richard Azizkhan, and the surgeon who performed the procedure.

Hospital officials said in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation, except to say they “strongly disagree” with the allegations.

“We stand behind our executive leadership, medical team and our process, and are confident that these claims against our hospital, Dr. Azizkhan and (the other surgeon) will be proven to be without merit,” the statement said. “We are also saddened by the manner in which the family’s tragic loss has been utilized by the plaintiffs in this litigation.”

Miller is a board-certified plastic surgeon with training in craniofacial plastic surgery. He has held privileges for more than 10 years at several Omaha-area hospitals. Puccioni, a board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon, has had privileges at several local hospitals for over 17 years.

The lawsuit comes weeks after the Nebraska Medical Association sent a letter to the Children’s Hospital board, expressing concerns about “patient care, safety and quality” at the hospital, in addition to the loss of longtime physicians.

Azizkhan said hospital officials could not discuss personnel matters, but the hospital is committed to recruiting specialty physicians and is having a positive impact on children’s health.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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