Popular Alger County doctor fired

The hospital says it is over a contract disagreement.
Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - A well-liked Alger County doctor has been fired. The hospital says it is over a contract disagreement.

Dr. Chelsea Ray was fired on April 25 after working a 24-hour shift at Munising Memorial Hospital and Bay Care Medical Center.

She says she did not see it coming.

“I was on my way out and was asked to join an emergency meeting with the CEO,” said Dr. Chelsea Ray, Former Munising Memorial Hospital & Bay Care Medical Center physician.

That’s when Dr. Ray found out she was fired after working at the hospital for almost six years. The doctor was in contract negations with the hospital.

“I was just very blindsided,” said Ray.

Now, a petition has more than 6,100 signatures asking for her to be reinstated.

Munising Memorial Hospital declined to be interviewed, but released a statement to TV6 saying the decision was “driven by legal which we, as a tax-exempt hospital, are subject, and not by Dr. Ray’s quality of care or work ethic.”

The hospital also says that Dr. Ray was “by far, our most highly paid employee.” Tax filings from the hospital in 2019 confirm this. The doctor made $359,485. That was nearly $65,000 more than the next closest employee. The doctor did not want to talk specifics about her contract citing an on-going confidently agreement. She does say the thousands of signatures on the petition has impacted her.

“It definitely has hit me where it should,” said Ray before getting emotional.

Dr. Ray says she had her dream job. She says she was the chief of staff, the ER Director, Bay Care Medical Clinic Director, medical supervisor and Alger County Medical Examiner.

“I really felt like I had what I was looking for and I had no plans to leave Alger County,” said Ray. “I would have worked there until I was 80.”

She says, she will miss her patients the most.

“I care about patients,” said Ray. “I drive home thinking about my patients. I drive to work thinking about my patients. I really drive to serve them to the best of my ability.”

Munising Memorial Hospital has been under the leadership of new CEO Sandra McGovern since December. The hospital says it used a compensation calculator that offered Dr. Ray a higher base pay.

Dr. Ray says she is going to take some time to reflect before trying to find her next job.

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