Action > Eds Case.
15, 2006, in stifling heat, 11 adults and 6 children converged on the entrance
road of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis to do what few have
ever done before: picket a hospital. The "Patients before Paper"
protest was a challenge to Good Samaritan Physician refusal to sign medical marijuana
program applications. It was also in support of Nurse Ed Glick who was fired
for refusing a drug test. (Guess why he was asked?!)
The group was
strong, and a sense of merriment pervaded our little area, even as we baked in
the sun. Cars flooded past, including many nursing staff on days and evening
shift, who have heard about Nurse Ed's situation. The Corvallis Gazette-Times
sent a reporter and a photographer to document the event.
Nurse Ed also
attended a "Grievance Meeting" in order to defend the unreasonable
request to submit to a drug test. No new evidence was presented at the
meeting, and it appears that the drug test demand was based upon nearly no
documentation of alleged work deterioration. After 30 minutes in
air-conditioned comfort, nurse Ed began to feel that he should be out in the
heat standing with people who literally risked their lives to be there. So he
returned to the "front line".
In a week or so, Good Sam
Hospital will send a letter of response to the meeting, and the next step in
the Grievance hearing will begin.
But, more importantly, Good Sam
doctors will get the message that patients who suffer from diseases are no
longer willing to just take pills.
Cannabis is a safe and effective
medicine, and one day doctors at Good Sam will recommend cannabis as a first
treatment, not the last.
So, the circle of support goes
round and round.
Blessings to all who attended, in
spirit, and body.
Nurse claims he was fired
for pot advocacy
By BENNETT HALL,
Gazette-Times business editor
A longtime Samaritan Health
Services nurse is contesting his dismissal,
claiming he was fired not because of his job performance but because he
has been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana.
An executive of the health care
network disputes that claim.
Ed Glick was terminated April 18
from his job as a nurse at Samaritan Regional Mental Health Center in Corvallis
after he refused to take a drug test.
According to Glick, the demand
that he submit to urinalysis came during a meeting to discuss omissions in the
paperwork he did on several patients. He said the gaps were minor and occurred
when he was working an exceptionally busy weekend shift that required him to
rush through the numerous admission forms to attend to the patients’ immediate
When a supervisor insisted he
take a drug test, Glick said, he refused and walked out of the meeting. He was
“I was ambushed in a meeting with
the supervisors,” Glick said. “The real reason I was fired is I’ve been doing
medical cannabis nursing for 10 years.”
Oregon is one of about a dozen
states that allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes, but the practice
remains highly controversial.
Glick, however, has never been
shy about his belief that pot has therapeutic value, calling it a “miracle
At work, he has made a point of
making notes in patients’ medical charts about their use of marijuana to treat
their health problems, which can be a preliminary step to getting a state
On his own time, he has written
letters to the Gazette-Times, produced an informational CD about the Oregon
Medical Marijuana Act and petitioned a judge to expand the law. He hands out
business cards identifying him as a medical cannabis nurse. On April 8, a
little over a week before he was fired, Glick gave a presentation to the
National Clinical Conference on
Cannabis Therapeutics in Santa
He also volunteers at the Compassion
Center, a nonprofit clinic in Eugene that provides counseling and educational
services related to medical marijuana.
According to Glick, he has seen
patients from Corvallis at the Compassion Center who claim their Samaritan
Health Services doctors have refused to help them get a prescription for
marijuana, even though state law allows its use to treat pain, muscle spasms,
loss of appetite and other symptoms due to cancer, HIV and a wide range of
“I’m being squeezed between my patients
and a medical system that doesn’t care about their needs,” Glick said.
A Samaritan official denied that
the health care network discourages its doctors from prescribing marijuana.
“There is no formal policy that
Samaritan has ... which dictates either one way or another regarding
prescriptions of marijuana,” said Steve Jasperson, chief executive officer of
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. “That’s up to the individual physician
and his or her relationship with the patient.”
Jasperson also denied that Glick
was fired for advocating prescription pot.
“He was terminated for good
cause,” Jasperson said.
While he declined to go into
detail about Glick’s job performance, Jasperson said Samaritan’s employment
policies clearly state that a drug test can be required if there is “reasonable
suspicion” to believe an employee is impaired.
“An employee who chooses not to
take a drug test has potential consequences of that of termination,” Jasperson
In a statement he sent to the
newspaper, Glick denied ever having come to work under the influence of drugs
or alcohol, either at Samaritan or any other job.
Glick said he does not have a
medical marijuana card and does not smoke the drug recreationally, although he
did say, “I use it infrequently.”
On Monday afternoon, Glick took
his cause to the streets, standing near the eastern entrance to the Good
Samaritan campus with a sign that read “Fired for putting patients first.” He
was joined by about 15 supporters, many of them connected with the Compassion
Bill and Erin
Hildebrandt came down from Lafayette with their five children to demonstrate on
Glick’s behalf. Erin Hildebrandt smokes marijuana to control symptoms of
Crohn’s disease, and her husband said the family moved to Oregon from Maryland
so she could use the drug legally.
“It was a lot easier for us, with
five small kids, to move out here and not have to worry about the cops kicking
our door in and pointing guns at our kids’ heads,” he said.
Glick has filed a wrongful termination
grievance against Samaritan through his union, the Oregon Nurses Association,
and hopes to be vindicated through that process. But even though he loved his
15 years of working for Samaritan, he said, he doesn’t want his job back.
“I’m not expecting them to
(rehire me), but I am expecting them to recognize the situation,” Glick said.
“I want Samaritan Health Services
to begin recognizing that cannabis is a legitimate medicine.”
More Notes, News and INformation on the Case
Hello patients and friends:
Attached is my final paper as a handout. We will be standing where there is a lot of car traffic. (The corner of Ninth street and Elks Drive.) There will not be much foot traffic.
I have cruised the area. There is a public sidewalk on the south side of the street we may use. Please congregate outside of the Samaritan Regional Medical Center Main sign. I will arrive at the site by 1:00 to guide others. Anyone who cannot walk one block, please drive up to the curb and I ( or someone) will park your car. The weather will likely be sunny and warm. Please drink fluids, and bring sun glasses and hats.
This is a dignified, peaceful and legal picket.
There may or may not be press. I'll call the GT in Corvallis.
I have a grievance meeting with Samaritan Health Services scheduled for 3 PM at the hospital. I will attend that meeting, then return to the event. I do not anticipate a long meeting.
I have some signs, including 25 8X11 paper signs, for anyone's use.
Please do not medicate in public.
My friends, thank you for any and all support. I will support you, you support me and we have a circle that goes around and around. Without patients willing to stand up for your, and my rights, I am powerless.
Please e-mail me or call if you can attend, I'll have some idea of the numbers.
I am honored to serve you all.
PLEASE COPY and POST
Samaritan Health Services Puts Paper Before Patients
Calling all medical cannabis patients, and anyone who is sick and tired medications that make them sick and tired:
Please come to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis on Monday, May 15 in a show of peaceful and dignified support for Nurse Ed Glick, and the hundreds of Cannabis ?untouchables? who are ignored by Samaritan Physicians because they use an herb that is forbidden by Federal Law. Nurse Ed was fired on April 17, for refusing an unreasonable drug test, and for putting patient care before paperwork. Come and tell Samaritan Health Physicians to put patients first.
When: Monday May 15, gather at 1:30 PM
Where: Follow 99W or Ninth Street north through Corvallis. Parking will be available on Maxine Avenue, half a block north of Conifer Avenue and Ninth Street. Park 20 feet from any hydrants, please do not block driveways. Stand in the park area on the south side of Elks Drive where Ninth Street intersects. This is public property
Bring: Hats water, and signs. Some signs will be provided. A video camera would be appreciated.
Do Not Bring: Violence, animals, or illegal drugs or alcohol. If you must medicate please do so before the event out of public view.
This is a nonviolent, legal assembly.
For Information Please contact:
Putting Patients Before Paper
Edward Glick, RN
Samaritan Health Services talks the talk about putting patients first. I was fired for doing just that. I was ambushed by managers at the Mental Health Unit in a disciplinary meeting for not completing my paperwork. They threw a bunch of papers on the table and demanded I submit to a drug test.
The real reason I was fired is because I have been pushing Samaritan Health Services to recognize cannabis patients for nearly 10 years.
My attendance at The Fourth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, where I was a presenter, was the last straw. I criticized my employer for failing to sign papers that keep sick people out of the arms of District Attorney?s- who consider medical marijuana a ?smoke screen for drug legalization?.
I worked for 15 years at Good Samaritan Hospital as a Registered Nurse, caring for thousands of people in our community. My firing sent a wave of insecurity through the staff, who know that anyone could be next.
No one I have ever worked with would accuse me of impairment or intoxication on the job. So, the manager who never showed up during my shift did so.
The Regional Mental Health Unit is a toxic environment, where obedience is compelled through authoritarian management. I?ve been sticking my head up for years, so they cut it off.
This issue is much larger than one ?activist? nurse. It is the struggle between an entrenched medical establishment which has lost sight of it?s core values, and increasing numbers of ill people who are sick and tired of pharmaceutical medicine. They are choosing to leave. As a nurse who represents ?untouchable? cannabis patients, I am just the ?canary in the mine?.
There are over 600 Medical Marijuana Registry patients in Counties served by Samaritan Health Services. Sam Health doctors refuse to evaluate cannabis or sign medical marijuana program papers. They often refuse to talk about it. Ask your doctor for dangerous drugs and he?ll prescribe them. Ask him for a safe herb, and he?ll say: ?I don?t do that, I could lose my license.?
If you have terminal cancer and smoke cannabis for relief, don?t ask Good Sam doctors for a medical marijuana card. If you tell him you smoke cannabis to keep from throwing up your pills, or drink cannabis tea to sleep, he?ll label you as cannabis -dependent, and cut back on your pain medications. Is that putting patients first?
If Samaritan Health Services doctors really put their patients first they would be tritrating many of them on to cannabis. It is safe and effective. But they don?t want to hear about it. They are paid by pharmaceutical makers to push Vicodin and Flexeril.
Disenfranchised and demoralized, patients flood the Compassion Center in Eugene, where I volunteer, looking for an honest and sensitive evaluation of their medical needs.
Anyone suffering from chronic disease, especially pain, should consider cannabis therapy. However, it requires an extraordinary level of commitment. Cannabis patients are actively managing their disease, dealing with (often) unsympathetic doctors, and living in fear of police. These are courageous people, who live with suffering, in the hope that their children won?t have to.
As a nurse I am privileged to care for them.
Drug Testing as a Means of Controlling Political and Personal Thought and Speech
and Thereby Covering Up Expensively Big, Bad Things
Like getting the edge on workers at an unsafe factory.
Edward "Nurse Ed" Glick is registered nurse involved with the REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH UNIT of
Samaritan Health Services, an affiliate of Good Samaritan Hospital.
MHA’s, nurses and doctors - like him - are the beating heart of this Unit
where he has worked for 15 years. This includes the night shift and in the Emergency
Department, which involves much communication and commitment to patient safety.
He has been “terminated”. The managers most distant from the reality of the patients,
and the job professionals like Nurse Ed do, created a pretext - documentation lapses and
interpersonal conflicts - to request him to submit to a drug test. He has refused their
“request” as lacking in reasonable cause. This is reported to be part of the REGIONAL
MENTAL HEALTH UNIT managers purging of the most experienced staff.
This is an ominous trend. Documentary, non-patient-care omissions are being used as a vehicle
to rid the unit of undesirables. Instead of supporting patient care by increasing staffing as
promised, managers pour over charts, creating reams of documentation. Paperwork consumes
nurses’ time. Patient care is a side-issue. With this type of authoritarian, punitive
managerial structure, morale on the unit is understandably low.
April 9, 2006, Level One was especially unstable, with multiple psychotic patients displaying
aggression, and violent paranoid ideation towards staff and other patients. They were
prioritized as the multiple admissions and patient crises were judged as deserving more of
attention than paperwork. He stands by his decision to do so.
“Documentation” may have been the pretext for his carefully planned and orchestrated
disciplinary “lynching”, but it was also about his continuing outspoken criticism of
Samaritan Health Services. He has often made public comments over the years critical of
Samaritan Health Services’ refusal to support and assist cannabis patients who use their
health system. Cannabis patients are “untouchables” in this medical establishment.
It is frankly negligent that our regional health system including virtually every physician in
it, ignore the safest medication many of their patient’s relate as the most beneficial. There
is little physician conversation and less documentation about a significant medication that
many patients are using every day. SHS publicly promotes “patients first”--but in the case of
hundreds of patients - privately they turn their back.
Samaritan Health cannabis patients make their way to the Compassion Center in Eugene, where he
has volunteered his time for years. They come in search of doctors and nurses who will listen
to them. Samaritan Health Services is tired of hearing him repeat this message. That’s the real
reason he is being “terminated”.
Please contact him to express your support as he begins the grievance process contesting
The Need Continues
He is in negotiation with the Oregon Department of Human Services to reconvene the
“Debilitating Medical Conditions Advisory Panel”. They met in 2000 to consider adding
psychiatric conditions to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act as “covered conditions”.
(Agitation related to Alzheimer’s disease was ultimately added.)
There will likely be a new advisory panel of experts, to evaluate new evidence, since 2000. If
any of you, especially psychiatrists and nurses, have significant knowledge or insight into
the use of cannabis for amelioration of depression, PTSD, agitation or insomnia, please contact
him - he welcomes your input.
Edward "Nurse Ed" Glick
Click here for full text of his letter.
Bulletin Board for Ed's Case
Make a comment, ask a question,
see below for examples.
NOTE: Edit yourself before clicking on the [Leave Your Comments] tab, what you type is
what you get!
Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 08:30 AM:|
M. Simon from Rockford, Illinois wrote:
Contact me at:
I'd like to do an interview.
Monday, July 7, 2008 at 12:59 AM:
Mark Sorensen from Tucson, Arizona wrote:
"If anyone knows Ed's current
e-mail address, please
forward this, thanks!
Hey, Ed...please get a hold
of me. Your old MIU
classmate, Mark at
Monday, April 24, 2007 at 08:49 PM:
troy hudson from SALEM, OREGON wrote:
" ITS NO SUPPRISE TO
ME, DHS /CSD AND OTHER
AGENCIES ARE ABOVE THE LAW, I
KNOW THIS FIRST HAND, THEY
LIE / WITHHOLD
EVDENCE /COVER UP
CRUPPITION /IF YOU NEED ANY
PROOF CONTACT ME MR-SMELL@COMCAST.NET. REMEMBER
WITH DHS ETC., ITS ABOUT
CONTROL / JOB SECURTY / N
MONEY. WE NEED TO STAND
TOGETHER AND PROTEST. BE
STRONG LIKE SONNY. THANKS