Hospital Fires Surgeon after This Calm and Thoughtful Speech in Front of School Board

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Members of the Fergus Falls, Minnesota community were made aware that Dr. Jeffrey Horak, longtime general surgeon at Lake Region Healthcare (LRH), is no longer working at the facility as of Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The announcement came less than two weeks after Horak spoke in favor of parents making health care decisions for their children at a school board meeting. The meeting garnered high community attendance due to the implementation of a 10-day mask mandate within the school district, which was voted to expire effective Oct. 22 at a special school board meeting held on Wednesday.

The following statement was provided by Kent Mattson, chief executive officer of LRH, regarding the matter: “Lake Region Medical Group (LRMG, the provider group that employed Horak) provided notice to Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) that Dr. Jeff Horak will no longer be available for general surgery services at LRH after Oct. 20, 2021.”

Mattson explained that Horak was placed by LRMG for services at LRH under a professional services agreement.

“We sincerely appreciate Dr. Horak’s 16 years of service to our patients and our organizations and we wish him the best as he transitions his practice from here,” Mattson stated, sharing that LRH is working with LRMG to ensure continued access to general surgery services through the organization’s complement of talented and dedicated general surgeons who will “ensure we have surgical coverage in place to provide uninterrupted service for all patient needs.”

Mattson did not specify why Horak was no longer working at LRH and did not address questions relating to the school board meeting Horak spoke at. No clarification was given regarding whether or not a “without cause” termination agreement was in place.

In response, members of area communities rallied around the hospital and across the street at NP Park Monday, Oct. 25.

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