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Former first-year resident at Cleveland Clinic apologizes for anti-Semitic tweets

Posted: 11:43 AM, Jan 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-05 16:47:42Z
Cleveland Clinic

CLEVELAND — A former employee at the Cleveland Clinic has apologized for anti-Semitic remarks she made on Twitter.

First-year resident Lara Kollab was placed on administrative leave after derogatory tweets she previously made regarding the Jewish people were brought to light, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Following an internal investigation, Kollab and the Cleveland Clinic parted ways in September, 2018.

The Cleveland Clinic issued an updated statement on Wednesday regarding Kollab's departure:

“This individual was employed as a supervised, first-year resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. When we learned of the social media post, we took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave. Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September. “For first-year residents, multiple safeguards and direct supervision are required for patient care and prescribing medicine. In addition, there have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here. “In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system.”

Kollab apologized for her statements on a blog she posted on Friday:

Several social media comments posted on my twitter account years ago have surfaced recently, causing pain, anguish, and a public outcry. I wish sincerely and unequivocally to apologize for the offensive and hurtful language contained in those posts. This statement is not intended to excuse the content of the posts, but rather to demonstrate that those words do not represent who I am and the principles I stand for today. I visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories every summer throughout my adolescent years. I became incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. The injustice and brutality of the occupation continues to concern me, and I believe every champion of human rights owes it to humanity to work towards a just and peaceful resolution of this crisis. As a girl in my teens and early twenties, I had difficulty constructively expressing my intense feelings about what I witnessed in my ancestral land. Like many young people lacking life experience, I expressed myself by making insensitive remarks and statements of passion devoid of thought, not realizing the harm and offense these words would cause. These posts were made years before I was accepted into medical school, when I was a naïve, and impressionable girl barely out of high school. I matured into a young adult during the years I attended college and medical school, and adopted strong values of inclusion, tolerance, and humanity. I take my profession and the Hippocratic Oath seriously and would never intentionally cause harm to any patient seeking medical care. As a physician, I will always strive to give the best medical treatment to all people, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or culture. I have learned from this experience and am sorry for the pain I have caused. I pray that the Jewish community will understand and forgive me. I hope to make amends so that we can move forward and work together towards a better future for us all.