Denver Health doctor resigns her post
A Denver Health anesthesiologist who posted racist comments about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook has “voluntarily resigned” from the hospital, officials announced.
Dr. Michelle Herren’s resignation from Denver Health was effective Friday, the hospital said in a news release.
Herren and Denver Health mutually agreed to her resignation, the hospital said.
Herren, a pediatric anesthesiologist, was responding on Facebook to praise for Michelle Obama, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law, that had been posted by a Facebook friend. Herren’s controversial response went viral.
She had been with the hospital for 10 years and earned $363,000 annually at Denver Health.
The hospital on Friday said there would be no further comment on the matter.
Earlier this week, after the controversy broke, Denver Health released the following statement: “While the leadership of Denver Health is appalled by these remarks, as a public entity we are constrained by both state and federal law, including the First Amendment right of free speech, to terminate any employee for their off-duty comments, regardless of how offensive their comments may be.”
Herren’s Facebook response to the praise for the first lady included a photo of Obama and the statement: “Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!”
JoAnn Nietto, who shares a common Facebook friend with Herren, spotted the post and informed Denver Health and the CU Board of Regents.
The post was first reported by Denver7.
Neither Herren or Nietto could be reached for comment Friday.
Herren also holds a non-paid faculty appointment at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a medical staff appointment at Children’s Hospital Colorado.