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After being terminated from his position at Lake Region Health, Fergus Falls surgeon speaks out

To a story we first brought you on October 10th, Valley News Live was the only team there when Dr. Jeff Horak spoke at the Fergus Falls School Board meeting that may have cost him his job.
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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DALTON, M.N. (Valley News Live) -To a story we first brought you on October 10th, Valley News Live was the only team there when Dr. Jeff Horak spoke at the Fergus Falls School Board meeting that may have cost him his job.

Many of you let us know about his firing through our Whistle-Blower Hotline.

Yesterday, we heard from a parent who was at the meeting.

Today, we sat down with Dr. Horak himself.

On Wednesday, Lake Region Health Center said longtime general surgeon Dr. Jeff Horak no longer practices there.

“The explanation I have that was given is that my views and the views of my group were no longer congruent,” said the surgeon.

While the center didn’t explain further, Horak did speak about mask mandates at a Fergus Falls School Board meeting on October 10th-- saying the choice should be left to parents.

He said his faith is what brought him up to the podium.

“I had no expectation other than going and giving my opinion. Then everything started to change after that. There was all this outpouring of stuff and I didn’t understand it,” said Horak.

Horak tells us he was given the option by his employer to resign or be terminated. He refused to step down, and so he was fired.

“I will never know if what I said at the school board meeting has anything to do with my termination. There’s no way to know. I’m not gonna ask,” said the doctor.

Horak says he’s been in the medical field for almost 40 years.

He says people in the community were asking him to come to speak on behalf of their kids.

“People come to me to ask for opinions when they’re hurting or there’s trauma. I have a lot of experience in it. Life and death experiences, life and death decisions, provide you with lots of experiences, and I thought that’s what I was there for.”

Fergus Falls School Board voted 4-2 to not extend its mask mandate.

People in the Fergus Falls area took to Facebook to show their support of Horak, and have gone as far as planning a rally for him.

“I want to thank the people who have trusted me, who have listened to me, who have guided me, and showed up,” said the surgeon.

The rally for Horak will be on Monday at 11 am.

Horak says he does plan to attend Monday’s rally.

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