INVESTIGATION OF HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Washington residents deserve a system that makes patient safety the top priority and instills confidence in the professionalism and training of their health care providers; and
The state's disciplining authorities, including the Department of Health and state boards and commissions, are responsible for ensuring patient safety by regulating health care professions and sanctioning those providers who exhibit unprofessional conduct; and
Sexual misconduct by health professionals in Washington is unacceptable and demands strong regulatory action by the state's disciplining authorities to better protect the public.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the State of Washington, direct all health profession disciplining authorities, including those reporting to the Secretary of Health and independent boards and commissions, to promptly investigate, without exception, all allegations of sexual misconduct by health care professionals within their respective governing authorities.
It is not the policy of Washington State to tolerate sexual misconduct, particularly by health care providers who act in service to the public. Rather, it is the policy of Washington State to thoroughly investigate all allegations of such conduct.
Washington State's health profession disciplining authorities shall work collaboratively with the Secretary of Health to:
|1)||Establish a comprehensive definition of sexual misconduct, no later than September 1, 2006, that will be used in investigations of such conduct across all State health care professions; and|
|2)||Establish comprehensive protocols for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct, no later than July 1, 2006, to ensure that any State action in this regard is uniform across all State health professions; and|
|3)||Provide an annual report to the Governor on the application of these tasks.|
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the State of Washington, on this 4th day of May 2006, at Olympia, Washington.
|Christine O. Gregoire|
|BY THE GOVERNOR:|
|Secretary of State|