Winn out at Mazzoni Center

Dr. Robert Winn submitted his letter of resignation last week as Mazzoni Center’s medical director.

The resignation was accepted by the agency’s board and was effectively immediately, Mazzoni Director of Development Perry Monastero told PGN Friday. Dr. Shanin Gross has taken over as acting medical director. 

This past weekend, CEO Nurit Shein also stepped down, as did board President Dr. Jimmy Ruiz.

Winn has been at the center of allegations regarding sexual impropriety with patients. Earlier this week, Mazzoni officials confirmed Winn was on paid leave but declined to comment on the reason.

“This is a complex situation and we have an obligation to respect the rights and confidentiality of all parties,” Ruiz said in a statement earlier this month. “We also have an obligation to help ensure that the conclusions we reach are based on facts.”

Ruiz said a “third-party, legal investigation” into allegations against Winn is ongoing.

In a conversation with PGN Friday, Ruiz said Shein updated him when she convened the investigation. He declined to provide the date the investigation began but said it was “recent.”

Ruiz declined to comment on the nature of the investigation, and whether the sexual allegations against Winn were brought before the full board. He said Winn submitted his resignation letter in writing Thursday and did not meet with the full board at its emergency meeting that evening.

In his statement, Ruiz sought to “emphasize that Mazzoni has not previously ignored and is not now ignoring any allegations. There is zero tolerance at Mazzoni for anything but best practices and appropriate care.”

Monastero could not provide a timeframe for or more details on the investigation.

“It’s a thorough investigation and I can’t comment because I do not have information to indicate how long [it will take],” Monastero said. “It will continue until it’s complete, however long that is.”

“A third party was engaged to ensure it was outside the investigation,” Ruiz added to PGN about the investigation. “This process is going to depend on the findings of the investigation and the privacy particularly of the patient involved — or patients, depending on the outcome of the investigation. The privacy aspect is the toughest part of the whole situation because, as a medical organization, we are bound by HIPAA, so a patient really has to authorize the organization to disclose information.” 

Ruiz said no further board meetings have been scheduled to specifically address this issue but that “there will probably be updates as more information becomes available.”

The allegations against Winn were first raised publicly by Black & Brown Workers Collective, which also called for Shein to resign.