Iowa medical regulator retires, citing ‘grossly unfair’ treatment

DES MOINES (AP) — The director of the Iowa Board of Medicine abruptly retired Monday amid a personnel investigation in which he says he was treated unfairly by state administrators and pressured to quit.

Mark Bowden released a retirement letter on Monday morning, following the board’s vote to reinstate him to his position Friday. The board, however, had scheduled another meeting for Monday to reconsider Bowden’s employment status during a closed-door meeting.

Until Friday, Bowden had been on leave for one month during an investigation involving allegations that state officials have not made public. He indicated Friday that he had faced pressure to resign in lieu of termination but declined, saying it wasn’t warranted.

In his retirement letter, Bowden said that his work had been hindered in recent months by “substantial deficiencies in service and a lack of adequate support” from the Department of Public Health and Department of Administrative Services.

“The grossly unfair way in which I was treated by the personnel staff of those departments and state counsel during the past month broke the trust and confidence I need to effectively lead and administer the agency,” he wrote. “Consequently, I am retiring from state service.”

The regulatory board is responsible for licensing physicians and acupuncturists and investigating complaints of misconduct against them.

Bowden, a former newspaper executive, said he was proud of the work he had done to improve medical licensing and compliance and enforce regulations that protect patients. He thanked board members for having “the mettle to do what’s right — even in the face of adversity or pressure to do otherwise.”

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