State suspends Lewis County certified nursing assistant for allegations of sexual misconduct at Vancouver health care facility


The Washington state Department of Health has suspended the license of a Lewis County certified nursing assistant pending further legal action.

David Floyd Potter cannot practice in Washington until the charges are resolved. He has 20 days to respond to the charges and to ask for a hearing.

While the state Department of Health noted Potter is based in Lewis County, the alleged offenses that led to the suspension took place in Vancouver.

Potter was charged by the department April 8 with sexual misconduct, unprofessional conduct and violations of standards for nursing assistant conduct or practice for allegedly sexually assaulting a female patient in Vancouver in 2022 and having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a different female patient at the same facility in 2023.

Charges state that Potter bathed a female patient, referred to as patient A, at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Vancouver campus on Sept. 28, 2022, and “focused on rubbing patient A’s chest rather than where cleansing was medically needed and ignored patient A’s request to stop.”

Potter also allegedly engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship which involved the exchange of “sexually explicit text messages and emails” with another patient, referred to as patient B, in 2023.

An on-duty nurse reportedly “heard noises that sounded like moaning emanating from patient B’s room” on April 10, 2023, according to the charges. The nurse entered the room and reportedly found Potter “standing over patient B as she was lying in bed, which was in a fully reclined position.”

Potter reportedly “appeared nervous and had a red face” when the nurse saw him, the charges state. Potter then reportedly “stated nothing was going on and then left the room.”

The charges note that Potter was not assigned to assist patient B the day the incident occurred.

Potter was “terminated from his employment” with the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Vancouver campus on April 26, 2023, according to the state Department of Health.

In a summary action order dated April 16, the state Department of Health stated “respondent (Potter) abused their position of trust and blatantly violated multiple professional and ethical boundaries … Violations of such a nature are particularly reprehensible when the provider is acutely aware of the patient’s age, medical issues and resulting vulnerability.”

A health law judge ruled April 16 that “the findings of fact establish the existence of an immediate threat to public health and safety if (Potter) has an unrestricted credential.”

Potter’s credential was first issued in November 2017 and expired April 18, 2024, according to the state Department of Health.

“The Department of Health protects and promotes public health, safety, and welfare in Washington by regulating the competency and quality of health care providers,” the department stated in a news release. “The agency establishes, monitors, and enforces qualifications for licensing, consistent standards of practice, continuing competency mechanisms, and discipline. Rules, policies and procedures promote the delivery of quality health care to people in Washington.”