CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH) — A central Ohio hospital is firing workers, some in leadership positions, following a series of NBC4 Investigates reports exposing various misconduct allegations behind the scenes at Adena Regional Medical Center.

The allegations include sexual misconduct by two healthcare providers, and claims that a surgeon performed a cardiac procedure before receiving the proper credentials. While the people accused of wrongdoing by patients and employees still work for Adena, the ones who were fired say they were let go for talking about the allegations.

“I’m not out to hurt anybody. I’m not out to ruin Adena’s reputation,” said Rene Compher-Johnson, who worked at the Chillicothe hospital for 11 years. “Adena to me is family. I don’t want my family to get hurt.”

Compher-Johnson worked part-time, keeping an eye on patients’ heart monitors and alerting doctors and nurses to irregularities.

“It’s very rewarding. Very,” said Compher-Johnson, recounting the occasions when she and her colleagues were able to save lives through their work.

In early May, Compher-Johnson’s manager escorted her to human resources. She said she didn’t know why until she arrived at the meeting.

“They proceed to tell me that I had passed on five things in social media to others on my Facebook page. I was very confused,” Compher-Johnson said. ” I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And then they proceeded to say to me, ‘Everything you passed on was false and lies.'”

Compher-Johnson had shared posts on her Facebook page from an account by the name of “Blimp Arms,” which shares information critical of Adena Health System.

NBC4 has independently vetted and reported on some, but not all of the claims made on the page.

The owner of the Blimp Arms account shared parts of a subpoena with NBC4, filed by Adena’s lawyers in Franklin County, asking Facebook’s parent company, Meta, for information behind the account, and those who are interacting with it. The account owner, who has provided information to NBC4 under the condition of anonymity, also shared an email they received from Meta in response to the subpoena.

Adena’s leadership denied NBC4’s request for an interview for this story, but in a previous interview, CEO Jeff Graham told NBC4 about the impacts of what he calls false rumors.

“It’s just hurtful, it’s mean, and it’s not factual,” Graham said during the February 2023 interview. “I just hate it for all that it is to the people that work at Adena. They deserve so much better than that.”

While Compher-Johnson acknowledges that she shared content on Facebook pertaining to her then-employer, another former employee told NBC4 he made a cognizant decision to avoid involving himself in the chatter in the halls of the hospital and on social media. Regardless, he believes he was accused of spreading false information.

“I wanted to do what was best for the health system, do what was best for me personally, and I just wanted to do my job and stay out of it,” the former employee said, speaking anonymously out of concern that it would harm his job search.

In February, the former employee said upper management pulled him aside for questioning.

“They asked, you know, did I have connection with some folks that were in the community, some folks that used to work at Adena. I did,” he said. “At that point, they asked if they could see some old text messages, some old Facebook messages.”

The former employee told NBC4 he didn’t have any messages to show. A couple of weeks later, he was questioned again.

“They asked if they could recover the Facebook messages — if I could log into my Adena-issued phone. They could go in, pull the messages — or if I would give them access to my accounts. Obviously, something I wasn’t comfortable with. So I declined that,” he described. “Things turned a little more aggressive — the two leaders that were questioning me — one of them mentioned that in the eyes of the feds, I would be suspect number-one.”

The former employee said he didn’t understand the alleged comment about being a suspect meant at the time. He was fired a couple of weeks after that.

Asked whether he was given an explanation for his firing, he replied, “I asked. They said I violated one of the core values and I asked which one. They said, ‘Well, legal advised us that’s all we could say.’”

The reason behind a third employee’s termination was circulated through the hospital, via an internal memo.

“Dr. James Manazer is no longer with the organization. Dr. Manazer admitted to providing an interview to NBC4 that relayed false and defamatory information,” the May 18 memo from Graham read.

Manazer, a vascular surgeon who had worked at Adena since 2006 and served as Chief of Surgery since 2023, was a key source in an April NBC4 report about a doctor who had performed a surgery before receiving the proper credentials.

Manazer had served on the hospital’s credentialing committee and had told NBC4 in April that he had seen information showing that the credentialing process for one of two doctors performing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements was incomplete in March 2022, when they started performing those procedures.

Adena’s leadership has vehemently denied that claim, telling NBC4 that the hospital could not share the dated credentialing documents, citing company policy.

During his first interview with NBC4, Manazer spoke under the condition of anonymity out of concern that he would lose his job. Showing his face on camera after his firing, he told NBC4 he stands by what he said in April.

Manazer said he has also taken the information the State Medical Board of Ohio, which said it cannot confirm or deny the existence of any active investigation.

“As a physician, if there’s patients being harmed or if there’s anything going on improper, I have a duty to report that information,” Manazer said. “My expectation is that the truth will eventually come out and that people will understand that I am telling the truth.”

The doctor who performed the TAVR procedure is currently credentialed to perform the procedure, according to Manazer and the hospital.

That doctor, plus a doctor and a nurse practitioner who were accused of sexual misconduct, are still licensed to practice and are employed by Adena Health System.

Per the request of an Adena spokesman, NBC4 emailed a list of questions for this story, including what the company’s social media policy is for employees, how its surgical credentialing process works, and how many employees were let go for sharing information critical of the hospital.

The hospital responded with a written statement:

“Adena Health thoughtfully and judiciously considers all factors when making decisions that impact employment. We have established policies and procedures that foster a trustful and safe environment and that prioritizes the needs of our caregivers, physicians, and patients. Adena terminated Dr. Manazer because he engaged in a slew of inappropriate activities that violated his contract and the system’s code of conduct.”

The spokesman, Patrick Higgins, did not answer a follow-up question about which policies in the code of conduct Dr. Manazer violated. Higgins said he is working to provide NBC4 with additional information responsive to the questions.