State suspends license of 2 Whatcom health care workers

The Washington Department of Health has suspended the license of a Whatcom County certified nursing assistant who took videos of nine people with dementia, some of whom were naked, state regulators announced Tuesday, July 7.

In a separate case, the state also suspended the license of a Whatcom County surgical technologist for diverting narcotics.

The first case involved Kelvin Kawa Kollie, who worked in the dementia cottages at Highgate Senior Living in Bellingham, where the nine lived, according to documents from the Nursing Assistant Program.

He worked at Highgate from 2011 to 2013.

Kollie took videos of the residents, who were diagnosed with varying levels of dementia, using his cellphone. He didn’t get their permission before doing so, and one of the videos showed another caregiver taunting one of the residents until the resident asked for help, according to the documents.

Kollie can’t apply to have his license reinstated for at least a year and must take eight hours of continuing education in the areas of ethics and patients’ rights and dignity, according to the Nursing Assistant Program.

In the second case, the Surgical Technologist Program suspended the license of Amy F. Vanlant.

Vanlant, a surgical technologist, was working at Bellingham Urology Specialists, where she took vials of fentanyl, a controlled substance, around Nov. 28, 2014.

Two days later, she called the clinic and admitted to diverting the fentanyl and replacing the medication with saline, according to documents from the Surgical Technologist Program.

She can’t reapply for her license for at least a year and must complete a substance abuse program.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.