The now-former head of the state’s public health lab says she was forced out of the job. University Hygenic Lab director Dr. Mary Gilchrist says she was notified of her fate on Monday. Gilchrist told reporters she had been invited to “pretend” to resign, but chose instead to tell the public she had been fired.
Gilchrist believes she was fired because of her attempts to raise more money for a new lab that’s in the planning stages. Gilchrist has argued state officials haven’t set aside enough money for the project, and the plans already in place will create a facility that’s too small to handle the demand.
University of Iowa officials announced Tuesday that Christopher Atchison, a University of Iowa health management professor who once led the Iowa Department of Public Health, is taking over for Gilchrist at the lab on a temporary basis.