TeamHealth's Culture of Respect and Inclusion
A message from CEO, Leif Murphy:
At TeamHealth, we have a culture and a value system that will not tolerate racism, hateful expression, intimidation, harassment or discrimination – and we all know that permitting any of those to manifest within or outside the workplace results in barriers, biases and inequities.
Nevertheless, as we all learned from a recent disturbing and offensive video of a former employee that has been circulating on social media, we will have issues that arise.
I want to assure you of all of the following:
1. We have the vehicles in place to report the issues, through supervisors, regional HR leaders, or our compliance hotline;
2. We have solid policies for how to evaluate issues and hold wrongdoers to account; and
3. We have internal communications networks to strengthen the policy and the process when things have been missed.
We will continue providing the finest possible patient care while honoring our commitment to these core values.
October 2, 2019
Statement Regarding the External Investigation into the Karl Anthony Simon Matter
“In August 2019, TeamHealth engaged the global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP to conduct an investigation into the issues that gave rise to the termination of Karl Anthony Simon, a former Advanced Practice Clinician who worked at TeamHealth and practiced at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
Davis Polk has now completed its investigation. Over the course of several weeks, Davis Polk collected and reviewed thousands of documents and communications and interviewed 19 individuals with knowledge of the relevant events, including former colleagues and coworkers of Mr. Simon. Based on its investigation findings, Davis Polk concluded that Mr. Simon’s conduct was isolated and not indicative of any larger systematic or cultural issues at TeamHealth or the emergency room staff at the Memorial City hospital at which he worked. None of the interviewees had ever witnessed the type of offensive and derogatory conduct Mr. Simon exhibited in the text messages read during his video deposition. To the contrary, everyone interviewed characterized TeamHealth as a diverse and accepting workplace that they were proud to work for. Davis Polk also found that Mr. Simon’s accusations that Dr. Michael Hehman and Dr. Jordan Smith participated in such conduct were entirely unfounded.
Davis Polk is currently working with TeamHealth to enhance policies, procedures, and training related to employee conduct to ensure that it is responsive to racism, hateful speech, intimidation, and harassment in the workplace – but also in any setting or context that affects or threatens to affect our workplace. This includes updates to TeamHealth’s Code of Conduct, yearly training on workplace issues, and improvements to the manner in which TeamHealth and its hospital customers coordinate to resolve such issues. TeamHealth remains committed to the goal of providing a work environment that is diverse and free from discrimination, and reminds employees that they can report discrimination and hateful expression in a number of ways, including by talking to a supervisor or leader, contacting Human Resources or Compliance, or using the 24-hour Compliance Hotline.”
September 6, 2019
“We want to reaffirm that the type of offensive behavior expressed by Karl Anthony Simon is the antithesis of TeamHealth’s values and culture. Mr. Simon should have been terminated more swiftly for his disturbing speech. He was clearly in conflict with our Code of Conduct, even if certain offensives were later determined to have taken place outside of work. We failed to anticipate the widely shared concern this hateful speech would cause and recognize our delayed action contributed to this rightful reaction.
We can never accept behavior that directly undermines the trust of our patients and the quality of care we provide. Subsequently, we regret our initial handling of the situation and sincerely apologize to our Houston community for compromising the healing environment within Memorial-Hermann.
We have a value system that will not tolerate racism, hateful speech, intimidation, or harassment in any setting or context that affects or threatens to affect our workplace. We are adopting policies to ensure that if such situations arise in the future, these breaches will be promptly elevated within the company for immediate review and decisive action.”
August 21, 2019
TeamHealth released the following statement in response to a video circulated online regarding the actions of a former employee:
“The type of disturbing and offensive behavior reflected in the video is the antithesis of what we stand for at TeamHealth. We take this situation very seriously and the physician assistant in the video, who was never an employee of Memorial Hermann, has been terminated. While a preliminary review has not found evidence to support the former physician assistant’s claim regarding the other individuals named in the video, we have engaged Davis Polk & Wardwell, a global law firm with experience investigating these types of allegations, to conduct a thorough independent investigation into the matter which is underway. The other individuals mentioned in the video are no longer providing services to TeamHealth, pending the outcome of the investigation. We will take any appropriate further action at the conclusion of the investigation. More broadly, we clearly have an opportunity to do a better job reinforcing our culture of respect as a company. The diversity of our clinical workforce in Houston reflects the diversity of the community we serve. As such, we will launch additional inclusion training across our organization that will enhance our existing workplace diversity trainings to ensure that every member of our workforce understands the importance of diversity and inclusion, and to reinforce the necessity for us to always provide a healing environment steeped in dignity and respect for all.”
A message from our President and CEO, Leif Murphy:
I would like to address a disturbing video circulating on social media where a former TeamHealth physician assistant admits to a series of intolerable and racist comments.
It is important to know this individual’s employment with TeamHealth was terminated immediately upon our learning of this video, and we can confirm this individual is no longer treating patients in any TeamHealth client hospital or facility.
I feel it important to say that this type of disturbing behavior and offensive attitude has no place in medicine and is the antithesis of what we stand for at TeamHealth. As one of the largest clinician practices in the country, it is our privilege to administer life-saving care to patients, regardless of color, race, religion, gender, disability, ability to pay and more, and offer comfort to them and their loved ones at their most vulnerable time. Anyone who holds or espouses racist or other dehumanizing views does not align with the values of TeamHealth or the diverse culture that makes us an exceptional place to practice medicine and receive care.
Please know, we are actively reviewing this situation and the additional information that has recently come to light to determine if any further action needs to be taken. However, due to the fact that this case is in active litigation, I am unfortunately unable to provide additional details around this matter.
I am proud of our commitment to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion and creating a place where all patients, physicians, advanced practice clinicians and associates are treated with dignity and respect.
Frequently Asked Questions
TeamHealth is answering your questions in response to a video circulated online regarding the actions of a former employee.
What was the individual’s relationship with TeamHealth? Memorial Hermann?
The individual was an employee with TeamHealth and no longer sees patients at any Memorial Hermann facility. The individual was never an employee of Memorial Hermann or any other TeamHealth client. He was removed from the schedule immediately and terminated on August 8, 2019 as soon as TeamHealth became aware of the video.
What has happened with the other individuals who were mentioned in the video?
TeamHealth engaged the global law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, to conduct an independent investigation into the issues that led to the termination of a former TeamHealth advanced practice clinician who practiced at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston, Texas. The Davis Polk investigation concluded that the individual’s conduct was isolated and not indicative of any larger systemic or cultural issues at TeamHealth or the emergency department staff at Memorial City Medical Center. Davis Polk also found that the accusations by the terminated individual against other clinicians were entirely unfounded.
What is TeamHealth’s policy on discrimination?
TeamHealth will not tolerate any form of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by law. TeamHealth strives to provide a work environment that is diverse and free from discrimination.
What training does TeamHealth provide to all employees on discrimination?
TeamHealth associates are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct training once a year. This includes guidance with specific examples about how to avoid all forms of harassment in the workplace. In addition, employees will receive diversity and inclusion training that address the importance of our culture of respect and inclusion.
How can a TeamHealth employee report discrimination or hateful expression?
TeamHealth associates have a number of ways to report discrimination or hateful expression:
- Associate can talk with their supervisor or leader.
- Associate can contact the HR or Compliance Departments.
- The Compliance Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Associates can remain anonymous if they so desire.
Please fill out the form about TeamHealth’s diversity and inclusion values and our team will get back to you soon.
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