Mazzoni window

In the wake of a second employee walkout, the board of directors at Mazzoni released a statement, Friday. 

Mark Coyne, a pharmacist who served on the Board of Directors at the Mazzoni Center from 2008-16, confirmed to Philadelphia Weekly Wednesday that allegations of misconduct against medical director Dr. Robert Winn are of a sexual nature and had been brought to the attention of the entire board during his term.

Coyne added that executive director Nurit Shein had not taken the allegations seriously– purportedly because they were made anonymously.

All of this arrives in the wake of a show of solidarity from Mazzoni staff members Tuesday morning, who stood outside the center in silent protest offering a sign that read “We Support Mazzoni Patients” and “Robert Winn Did It, Nurit Knew #Walkout.” On Wednesday, the board supplied an official statement to PW acknowledging that an interim replacement for the medical director role was made in Dr. Winn’s absence and that an emergency meeting among board members was scheduled to take place Thursday night.

However, upon learning that Dr. Winn had been suspended from his role and placed on paid leave, Coyne reached out to PW via email early Wednesday morning, stating:

“I have an obligation to respond as I indeed did have knowledge of the alleged misconduct when it first surfaced approximately 4-5 years ago.”  

According to Coyne, former Mazzoni board president Kelly Harris, received an anonymous letter from staff members detailing allegations of sexual relationships between Dr. Winn and what Coyne described during a phone conversation with PW as “one or two patients.”

With that knowledge, Harris then called an emergency meeting among the board’s leadership, revealing the allegations. Coyne recalled Shein being upset that Harris called the meeting and denied Dr. Winn’s involvement in the allegations.

“I don’t know if she was in denial, I don’t know if she didn’t want it to get to the media,” Coyne said of Shein’s response to the allegations. “[But] she said that the allegations were false and due to disgruntled employees.”

To resolve the situation, “one of the physicians on the board asked if [Shein] had checked with the medical ethics board for reports of past bad behavior,” Coyne added.

In a subsequent board meeting, it was confirmed to the board that a background check was conducted, but had revealed no prior reports of ill-behavior by Dr. Winn. The issue was never revisited by the Board during the remainder of Coyne’s time as a member which ended in March 2016.

Coyne described his fellow board members as “compliant,” saying that many of them were installed by Shein and that “they go along with what she says.” He identified himself as one of the few who had been willing to disagree.

He also confirmed the allegations of current and former Mazzoni staff who had reported to PW that Shein would fire employees as retribution. The State of Pennsylvania does have an act that holds employers in violation for retaliating against or terminating an employee for reporting misconduct. However, that act applies only to public companies and organization; private or nonprofit organizations like the Mazzoni Center don’t necessarily fall under the same guidelines.

“If she could fire them, she would,” Coyne said of the staff who anonymously reported wrongdoing by Dr. Winn. Then ending the conversation, he paused and added:

“I want to see justice done this time...the clientele there are young kids with no support system and facing a lot of difficulties. To take advantage of that is terrible.”

Philadelphia Weekly editor Kerith Gabriel contributed to this report.

TWITTER: @TIMAREE_LEIGH

0
0
0
0
0

sex educator, philly weekly contributing writer, community organizer, fitness instructor, dancer, etc. https://www.facebook.com/sexwithtimaree and http://tinyurl.com/swtpod

(3) comments

TransActivist

I'm a little confused here. As a member of the LGBTQI community and someone who has received services from the Mazzoni Center, I would ask former board member, Mark Coyne, if this issue was brought up during your tenure as a board member 4 or 5 years ago, why is it only now that you feel "obligated" to speak up? Where were you then? What was your obligation then? You're either a hypocrite or an opportunist.

From everything I've read, (if Phila Weekly's brand of "journalism" of "we print what people say who reach out to us without corroboration," ' is to we to nelivev, Dr Winn seems to be a sexual predatory who should be removed and should not be practing medicine. However, lets separate the alleged bad acts of one from the good works of so many others at Mazzoni.(I stand with the Mazzoni Center staff and am grateful for what they do every day).

Samerkle76

Whether true or not, my partner and I met Dr Winn in 2004, and he has been our physician ever since. I have had many issues with the way mazzoni manages the clinic, and how one who is sick is expected to take an appointment days later. However, one call to Dr Rob and I would get in that day, patients with chronic illness need to be seen during flare up and the front staff was never understanding of that, it was business. As years went on I began to see a combination of Dr Rob and Dusty. The best medical care I have ever received, hands down. I find it very hard to believe any of this was unwanted, not the personality of the person I knew and respect. This sounds like unethical behavior, yes, unwanted or to be called a sexual preditor, absolutely not. I would stand in a court of law and say that. The world needs more open-minded Doctors like Dr. Robert Winn . I will continue to go to Massoni because I love the care that I received from Dustin, but very disheartened this is all going down, because this is getting so much attention but The lack of empathy and compassion you receive from the front office never seems to change. Maybe the new building will help with this because I believe the biggest problem Mazzoni is they have outgrown the space again, The good part that came out of this problem of getting so overbooked and busy is that I got to meet Dustin and his wonderful level of care. However keep in mind there was a reason why Dr. Winn was booked up for months, he was the best, he is a great doctor and will always be .[unsure]

Samerkle76

Something else that bothers me here, is the comments made of why would someone on the board of directors or upper management not speak up when informed of the allegations 4 to 5 years ago. According to the information we have the allegations came in anonymously. And anyone in upper management of any kind would know that if I can't nail it down to a person even if I know who they are and keep them anonymous I can't go on anonymous allegations I don't have a physical person attached to them, so they don't stand up, they don't work, they are just hearsay . And I'm always been a firm believer or that when somebody want to touch their name to something it's because it's not true, or elements of it are not true it's what disgruntled people do . Just saying

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.