Flint doctor claims she was kicked out of meeting regarding legi - WNEM TV 5

Flint doctor claims she was kicked out of meeting regarding legionella data

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Source: CNN Source: CNN

As officials in all levels of government work to respond to health problems across the state, the investigation into an outbreak of legionella continues.

When a local city health official tried to attend the meeting to discuss the outbreak she was shut out.

Dr. Pamela Pugh said it is her job to protect the health and well-being of Flint residents, but in doing so on Friday she was shown the door.

"If I can't be in rooms where their health and well-being is being discusses, how can I share information," Pugh said.

Pugh is the Flint chief public health advisor. She was put in the position as the water crisis plays out.

She said Wayne State University researchers invited her to a meeting Friday morning with the state's Department of Health and Human Services. The researchers were planning to share the findings of their investigation into the legionella outbreak in the city, but before they could get started the state tried to kick Pugh out.

"I interjected and definitely let them know that I am the chief public health advisor. I am here and I am being paid to be here to protect the health and well-being of Flint residents and I was going to remain at the meeting," Pugh said.

Pugh stayed put and that's when the state officials ended the meeting.

TV5 went to the DHHA spokesperson to get to the bottom of it. She said it was all a big misunderstanding.

"The issue with meeting this morning was regarding the assuring that appropriate private insurances were in place," Angela Minicuci said.

Minicuci said the state contracted Wayne State to specifically look at human cases and data as it pertains to legionella. Because of privacy issues the state has strict guidelines on who the university can share the information with.

She said anyone sitting in needs to go through protocols and Pugh had not filled out the proper documentation.

"It was not a matter of not wanting to share that information, it was simply a fundamental data protection issue," Minicuci said.

Pugh claims Wayne State told her they were not sharing personal data on Friday only aggregated data and numbers.

The DHHS said they plan to work with Pugh so she can sit in on the next important presentation.

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