Fired New Haven public health nursing chief cites difficult circumstances

“I hope the city will look at the structure of this division, of this department, because it is such a large division … responsible for the student population of approximately 42 public schools in the city of New Haven plus three or four parochial schools “said Hutcherson.

The director of nursing also manages the city’s vaccination clinics – including its COVID-19 clinic operations. Hutcherson oversaw 48 people — including all COVID-19 vaccination clinics run by the Health Department.

“My priorities when I arrived were, number 1, COVID — making sure people’s vaccinations were properly documented,” Hutcherson said. Additionally, “I advocated for more nurses” and “I advocated for higher salaries for nurses so that we can attract more nurses.”

He said he actually worked in this position for 10 months in the middle of the pandemic and went through the probationary period after he was initially appointed on an interim basis and then received a second period. probation after being appointed to the permanent position in October.

He was fired for not satisfactorily completing this second probationary period, according to city records.

Hutcherson, who could not be reached for comment before his dismissal was reported, feared the media coverage would affect his ability to get a new job. He pointed out that he was a single father raising two young children.

But “I’m not here to speak disparagingly of anyone – the mayor, (health director) Maritza (Bond),” he said.

Neither Mayor Justin Elicker nor Bond could be immediately reached for comment on Friday. Bond said earlier in the week that she couldn’t comment on Hutcherson’s departure because it was a personnel issue.

Hutcherson’s dismissal was reported in a weekly personnel action report published by the Department of Human Resources.

Hutcherson said he told Bond that “it’s a job that two people should do,” he said.

Among the things Hutcherson said he did while in that position were “putting a nurse in every school in New Haven,” working to get better pay for all public health nurses in the city, and work with the workforce to increase the staff of public health nurses.

He said he felt he had “a very solid relationship” with Bond.

Among other things, “I made some rationalizations and we were effective in vaccinating north of 25,000 people.

“The nurses are doing a great job,” Hutcherson said. “I just wish we could raise their salaries so we could attract more nurses.”

Bond said in an email earlier in the week that the Director of Public Health Nursing, assisted by the Public Health Nurse Coordinator, oversees all public health nursing and clinical services within the Department of Health, including COVID vaccination clinics.

The public health nurse coordinator helps with the day-to-day supervision of staff, including administrative staff, health assistants and public health nurses, she said.

There will be no “delays or disruptions to day-to-day operations,” Bond said. “The public health nurse coordinator who oversees the public health nurses will continue to be the day-to-day contact for staff” and the nurse coordinator and a medical adviser “will continue to provide clinical advice”.

“In the meantime, the deputy director of health is providing operational support,” she said.

The position will be posted immediately and filled once a successful candidate is found and approved, Bond said.

Jennifer Vazquez held the position for about three years before Hutcherson was hired. “The salary was around $106,000,” Bond said.

The job description indicates the salary range from $65,497 to $102,662.

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