Local nursing assistant testifies in new hearing

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OLYMPIA — The Vancouver nursing assistant accused of rubbing a soiled disposable brief in the face of a woman for whom she was caring testified via telephone in her disciplinary hearing last week.

Susan Meade was charged with unprofessional conduct for the alleged act, among other accusations of abuse, in March. On Aug. 9, the Washington State Department of Health suspended Meade’s license for two years, at which point she was able to petition to have the privileges reinstated.

But a few weeks later, a health law judge vacated the ruling due to an error during the disciplinary proceedings.

A new disciplinary hearing took place Thursday morning in Tumwater. Meade testified by phone, as did Pam Pratt, the daughter of Meade’s alleged victim.

The health law judge is expected to issue a decision in the case in about a month. In the meantime, Meade will retain her registered nursing assistant certification.

Meade’s case was the focus of an Aug. 21 Columbian story, “When trust is betrayed.” Pratt and her sister, Debbie Johnson, spoke out about their mother’s time in Meade’s care.