Denver Health: Doctor Michelle Herren no longer seeing patients after racially charged Facebook post

Posted at 9:11 AM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 19:07:06-05

DENVER -- Denver Health Medical Center confirms an anesthesiologist accused of posting a racially charged comment on Facebook is no longer seeing patients at the hospital until further notice.

The post on a picture of a yelling Michelle Obama said, "doesn't seem to be speaking too eloquently here, thank god we can't hear her! Harvard??? That's a place for "entitled" folks said all the liberals!” The poster goes onto comment, "Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!"

The poster, Dr. Michelle Herren, is a pediatric anesthesiologist at Denver Health Medical Center and Children's Hospital Colorado and is listed online as an assistant professor at CU's School of Medicine.

While the hospital told Denver7 Tuesday that it couldn't control the opinions their staff express as private individuals, on Thursday the company confirmed, "Until further notice, Michelle Herren, MD, will not be seeing patients or providing anesthesia services at Denver Health Medical Center."

The University of Colorado School of Medicine has also begun the process of terminating Dr. Herren's faculty appointment.

"She has expressed values that are at odds with ours and she has compromised her ability to meet the teaching and patient care missions of the School of Medicine," said School of Medicine Dean John J. Reilly, Jr. in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The comment has since been removed and Herren has taken down her Facebook page.

Dr. Herren told Denver 7's Molly Hendrickson over the phone that her comment was taken "out of context" and insists she didn't realize the term “monkey face” is offensive. Herren said she was responding to another post pointing out people say whatever they want about Melania Trump, but if they do the same about Michelle Obama they're considered racist.

Denver Health said Dr. Herren had been employed there since October of 2007.

Denver Health wrote on Facebook:

"Denver Health is deeply disappointed by the remarks posted on social media by Dr. Michelle Herren against the First Lady of the United States. We are offended by the comments made by this individual, who was acting independently in her private capacity. Her views are contrary to the mission and values of Denver Health, and to our staff and patients. Denver Health proudly serves people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and social backgrounds – and our staff and patient population truly reflect our diverse community and nation. We are reaching out to all of our patients, employees and physicians to reinforce our culture, mission and beliefs that all individuals regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation are deserving of dignity and respect."

Children's Hospital Colorado says Dr. Herren is neither employed by, nor caring for patients at the hospital.


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