License suspended for Whatcom County nurse who didn’t report potential sexual abuse

The state Department of Health has suspended a Whatcom County nurse’s license because she didn’t report possible sexual assault in a dementia unit in Cashmere.

The potential assaults happened in January 2015, when Marilee Joann Mellon was director of nursing services at the Cashmere Convalescent Center, according to the charges by the health department. Though the clinic is located in Cashmere, Chelan County, Mellon’s permanent address is in Whatcom County, said Sharon Moysiuk, a department spokeswoman.

Clinic staff found a male patient and two female patients in several situations that involved the female patients’ hands on the male patient’s genitals, according to the charges. Mellon did not initially report those incidents to the patients’ families or to the state Department of Social & Health Services.

Another incident with the same male patient and a third female patient happened in early February 2015, when Mellon finally called the department. There were no additional details.

Mellon’s license was suspended on Sept. 6, 2016, for a year, after which time she can petition to have it reinstated. Before that petition, Mellon must complete five hours and 15 minutes of continuing education, including on abuse and neglect and exploitation, according to department documents.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan