Den­ver Health doc­tor re­signs her post

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Kieran Ni­chol­son Kieran Ni­chol­son: 303-954-1822, kni­chol­son@den­ver­ or @kier­an­ni­chol­son

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.

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