PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Dozens of people are calling for the termination of a registered nurse at OSF HealthCare.
The OSF employee made what people say is an “insensitive comment” on a controversial Facebook post.
The post reads, “If I’m driving down the road with my horse trailer behind me. No matter who you are. If you’re in the road ‘protesting’ I will run you over. I will not stop. I will not brake. I will not hesitate. I’d rather go to jail than have you injure or scare my horses.”
The nurse commented under the post writing, “Thought [about] this omw home the other day. Protesters make great hood ornaments.”
This is a statement people did not take lightly; More than six people messaged the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Facebook page with a screenshot of the employee’s comment.
The page operator responded to the messages. One of the responses writes, “…Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our HR team will be looking into the matter.”
Jere Murry of Peoria said the nurse’s comment highlights the microaggressions people of color suffer every day in all communities. Adding, making the comment following the death of George Floyd was insensitive.
“It’s extremely disheartening to know that someone in the helping field particularly a nurse would be bold enough to send a message like that on social media for everyone to see,” Murry said.
Thursday, Murry said her daughter was discharged from OSF HealthCare. Now, she questions the integrity of its employees.
“I certainly wouldn’t want any of my loved ones to receive any kind of patient care from someone who is comfortable making those discriminatory statements,” she said.
Jackie Crane of Peoria said a nurse’s mission is to care for people, but the statement OSF’s employee made contrasts that duty.
“…In her Facebook post in her private life she says she would hit them in the street like road kill. Those two things don’t go together,” Crane said.
OSF HealthCare media relations supervisor, Shelli Dankoff, sent a statement on behalf of the employee’s actions:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re aware of the situation and the person who made that comment has been immediately suspended and a deeper investigation is underway.
At OSF HealthCare, we serve our communities with the greatest care and love. It is our priority to make sure every Mission Partner, patient and family is met with an environment of safety, justice, and equality. We condemn any words or actions that seek to marginalize or harm others based on their race, culture, ethnicity, religion or orientation.
This includes online activity. We have a strict social media policy each Mission Partner is expected to follow. Abusive language, hate speech or personal attacks of any kind is subject to immediate disciplinary actions, which in this case, has already happened.
Thank you for reaching out, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Dankoff said the nurse is suspended indefinitely until a thorough internal investigation is completed.