Lisa Wynn, the Arizona Medical Board’s Executive Director, was fired this weekend during a special meeting of the Board on Saturday. The Board voted to terminate her employment in a 5 to 4 vote after a scathing report by the Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide.
That report found that the state medical board’s staff violated rules and statutes while awarding licenses and renewals to thousands of Arizona physicians.
The report exposed some of the critical information Wynn and her staff failed to properly address including doctors’ education and illegal dispensations of prescription drugs. The Ombudsman’s report also alleged that Wynn’s staff purposely violated state laws in order to speed up the licensing process.
Wynn, who took the job as the Executive Director in 2008, took the brunt of the blame in a state report investigating possible shortcuts the board took to issue medical licenses.
The discoveries outlined in the report on the results of the investigation could mean thousands of physicians currently practicing medicine in Arizona are not qualified.
The Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide report recommended that the state auditor review medical license applications dating back to October 2011.
Wynn’s attorney issued a statement saying that Wynn was disappointed with the board’s decision. “The Board never gave her the chance to present a rigorous defense to the allegations, declined to appoint her a lawyer to respond, and – with only 24 hours notice – narrowly reversed its prior unanimous decision to retain her, despite the absence of any new facts or allegations. The public should know that no one has been harmed by any licensing decision of the Board under her leadership, and she is not aware of any physician that is improperly licensed in Arizona.”
Previously, Winn was the Deputy Assistant Director of the Division of Licensing for the Arizona Department of Health Services where she was responsible for licensing more than 6,000 healthcare and child care facilities around the state. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of Arizona from 2003 to 2006. A native of Phoenix, she is a graduate of Arizona State University.
Since Ms. Wynn took the position of Executive Director in 2008, the board has voted on multiple occasions to raise her salary to the current $132,000 a year.
Board members stated that Wynn had “lost the public’s trust” following the Ombudsman’s report, and it was time to part ways.