Employees at a Maine hospital created a “wall of shame” where they displayed confidential medical records of disabled patients in 2016, the state Human Rights Commission says.
The records detailed sexual activity, private body parts and bodily functions of patients at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, according to the commission.
St. Mary’s said in a statement to CNN that it is “fully committed to ensuring this doesn’t happen again.”
MyKayla McCann, an employee who had been treated at the hospital, said at least two workers also looked at her private medical records. After a leave of absence, she returned and felt her co-workers were “treating her differently,” the investigation report said.
She reported her suspicions and the existence of the “wall of shame” to the hospital administration in September 2016. The shame wall was removed after four months, according to the report, although the hospital said it was removed in weeks.
McCann, who has a disability, believed she was being discriminated against. For months, she suffered an “abusive environment” where co-workers harassed her, the investigation found.
“Coworkers constructed a workplace display ridiculing patients with disabilities. [McCann] encountered the display every day as part of her regular environment, making harassment pervasive,” the investigation said. “The information posted on Shame Wall was intended to demean and humiliate and included supposed ‘jokes’ about the hospital’s physically and mentally disabled patients.”
One person involved was fired and another was given a warning in December 2016. McCann left in January 2017, describing the workplace conditions as “intolerable” in her resignation letter.
“We deeply regret that this situation occurred back in 2016, and we sincerely apologize for the impact this situation has had on Ms. McCann,” the statement from St. Mary’s said.
McCann’s attorney Verne Paradie did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.