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State suspends Whatcom County nurse’s credential over substance abuse

Here’s how Washington state deals with health care provider complaints

The Washington State Department of Health can impose fines, require counseling or re-training and impose practice limitations or suspension from practice on health care providers.
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The Washington State Department of Health can impose fines, require counseling or re-training and impose practice limitations or suspension from practice on health care providers.

The state has suspended the credential of a Whatcom County registered nurse over substance abuse issues, the state Department of Health announced.

Here’s what Department of Health documents reveal about Andrea Rae Grainger’s case:

The state started monitoring Grainger in 2012 because of substance abuse and she was barred from taking “mind-altering drugs,” among other requirements.

In February 2017, she tested positive for codeine. She didn’t have a prescription.

Grainger said she had relapsed, first with codeine and then with cocaine and heroin before returning to detox and treatment.

But in October 2017, she didn’t check in with the Washington Health Professional Services program, which monitors health care providers and helps them get into treatment. She also didn’t return phone calls.

In April 2019, the state notified Grainger at her last known address that it would discipline her for unprofessional conduct, asked her for a response and then suspended her credential to practice in Washington state after not hearing from her.

Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.
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