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Entries in Mount Sinai (2)

Thursday
Aug162012

Mount Sinai Hospital Sued for Sex Discrimination

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A fired hospital technician claims she was the victim of sexist and anti-Semitic taunts while working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Sandra Morris, 37, has sued the Manhattan medical center and two of her former supervisors for creating a hostile work environment, according to a lawsuit filed July 31 in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

"Miss Morris experienced mistreatment in the workplace that no employee should have to experience," said Morris' lawyer, Steven Warshawsky. "She's bringing this lawsuit to vindicate her legal rights and to ensure other employees are not subjected to same type of misconduct."

Morris worked as a cardiovascular perfusionist at Mount Sinai for nearly five years, during which times she claims her supervisors, cardiovascular perfusionist Ahmed Cercioglu and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Ricardo Lazala, discriminated against her because of her gender and religion.

According to the suit, Morris "was told several times by Mr. Lazala and Mr. Cercioglu that she cannot work on [some] cases because she doesn't have a 'dick.'" And in July 2010, Cercioglu allegedly called Morris a "dumb Jew bitch" in front of other employees.

"Many of the incidents and issues alleged in the complaint were witnessed by other employees," said Warshawsky, adding that "several" co-workers would be called as witnesses in the case.

The suit also accuses Cercioglu of watching X-rated movies on his cell phone while operating the heart-lung machine – a pump that keeps heart patients alive during bypass surgery.

"This was so commonplace that other perfusionists routinely joked about his behavior," according to the suit.

Calls to Cercioglu and Lazala were not immediately returned. A spokesman for Mount Sinai declined to comment on the allegations because of the pending litigation, but said in a statement that the hospital "maintains strong policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace and does not tolerate behavior that violates these policies. Mount Sinai is confident that Ms. Morris will not prevail on her claims."

Morris also claims she was paid less than what she was owed for overtime work, and is requesting back pay, compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering and attorney's fees. She is not challenging the hospital's decision to terminate her employment, which came as no surprise after six months of unpaid leave for an on-the-job injury, according to Warshawsky.

"That's not the issue in this case," he said. "The issue is workplace mistreatment and mismanagement."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Mt. Sinai Working with Mozambique Officials to Improve Health Care

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Natasha Anushri Anandaraja, director of the Mount Sinai Global Health Training Center, and Dr. Sigrid Hahn have spent the past two years traveling with medical students from Mt. Sinai in New York City to remote Mozambique, where they are working with local health providers there to help villagers in remote areas gain access to basic health care.

Hahn explained that poverty is the biggest underlying cause for health issues in a region where the average salary is just seven cents a day. The Mozambique Health Ministry is working to convince villagers to understand why it is important that women go to the hospital where it is safer to have their babies.

The doctors are partnered up with Mozambican health care workers who speak the languages of the region and understand the deeply ingrained cultural issues. While trying to impress upon villagers the importance of getting to the hospital, the team recognizes that so many of the women will continue to give birth in the villages in part because they are so far away from any hospital and getting there is difficult.

In light of the circumstances, the team trains volunteer village birth attendants on how to identify and handle complications that arise in pregnancy and childbirth in a region where one in five infants die.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio