CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Clinic released a statement Monday after reports began circulating online that a doctor at the hospital had been posting anti-Semitic sentiments on social media.
The doctor, who has been identified as Lara Kollab, 27, of Westlake, was a supervised resident. She is no longer employed by the clinic.
"I'll purposely give all the Jews the wrong meds" she said in one of the tweets, using the Arabic word for Jew.
In another tweet, she said she was dressing up like a Jew for Halloween.
The tweets were saved by the website Canary Mission, which says it “documents people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses.”
We reached out to the Cleveland Clinic and received the following statement Wednesday:
“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.”
Cleveland 19 went to Kollab’s house in Westlake for a comment, but no one answered the door. On Friday, she published a lengthy apology over the racist remarks (below).
We looked into her qualifications with the State Medical Board of Ohio, and found she was issued a training certificate, not a license, in July 2018.
That Ohio training certificate is no longer valid because Kollab is not a part of the program at Cleveland Clinic.
Cleveland 19 asked the board if they are investigating her case.
But all complaints and investigations are confidential under state law, so we will never know unless the board takes disciplinary action against her.
The board says "Malicious acts and attitudes toward any population go against the Medical Practices Act and are denounced by the board."
The state medical board investigated more than 5,500 complaints between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
Only 261 complaints resulted in disciplinary action.
Kollab apology letter:
"My Sincerest Apologies
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."