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Hearing closed to public for health-care workers accused in death of Hanna, Alta., woman

Lillian Vanasse, 40, died at the Hanna Health Centre on Dec. 26, 2020. Lillian Vanasse, 40, died at the Hanna Health Centre on Dec. 26, 2020.
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Hearing tribunals for two health-care workers who are accused to have failed to provide adequate care to an Indigenous woman at the Hanna Health Centre in December 2020 have been closed to the public.

The disciplinary hearings, which are being overseen by the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA), were scheduled to be held virtually between March 22 and 24; the Mail received notice the hearings would be closed to the public on Monday, March 20.

“A written decision of the Hearing Tribunal, including the reasoning for the closure, will be made public when it is complete,” CRNA hearings director Amy Payne stated in the notice.

The hearings are in relation to the death of Lillian Vanasse at the Hanna Health Centre in December 2020.

Vanasse, who was of Ojibway Indigenous descent, was transported to the Hanna Health Centre by ambulance on the evening of Christmas Day 2020.

It is alleged the health-care workers "failed to demonstrate adequate judgment" and "adequate professionalism" while caring for Vanasse, and "contributed clinical bias" through discussions with the attending physician regarding a previous emergency room visit by Vanasse.

This is alleged to have resulted in a lack of adequate care for Vanasse, which ultimately led to her death in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2020.

Vanasse's widower, Cory Ashley, filed a complaint against the two health-care workers with CRNA in the days following his wife's death.

Hearing tribunals were originally scheduled for September 2022, but were rescheduled less than two weeks before they were to begin, and were rescheduled until March 2023.

There is no timeline on when the written decision will be issued, though this information will be available to the public and posted to the CRNA website.

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