LEWISTON — A discrimination claim filed against St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center by a former employee has been resolved, according to the employee’s attorney.

Lewiston attorney Verne Paradie, who represents former laboratory technician assistant Mykayla McCann, said Friday morning that “all claims have been resolved” in a complaint McCann filed against the hospital with the Maine Human Rights Commission, citing ongoing discrimination of her because of a disability.

Paradie said he is unable to comment on any details of the case, or details of the resolution.

McCann’s complaint detailed how several hospital employees posted information and photos from confidential patient files on the inside of a cabinet door in an employee work space, disparaging disabled patients who had been treated at the Lewiston hospital and mocking their conditions.

The patient records and photos, cut and arranged in a collage, included information detailing unnamed patients’ sexual activity, genital dysfunction, bowel movements, bodily odors and other conditions or maladies.

It was a display employees labeled the “Wall of Shame.”

McCann was employed by St. Mary’s from June 2015 through January 2017, leaving the job because, she said, she had been subjected to an environment so hostile she felt she had no choice but to resign.

In her complaint, McCann asserted that her co-workers had accessed her personal medical files regarding treatment she received at St. Mary’s prior to her employment, and then harassed her with questions and comments stemming from that treatment. She complained to a supervisor multiple times about the discrimination, she told human rights investigators, but her complaint was not investigated until she reported the “Wall of Shame” display in September 2016.

According to St. Mary’s, it had no record of complaints of discrimination from McCann prior to September.

According to MHRC investigators, the collage of medical records was not removed until January 2017, calling that “an unacceptable delay” in removing the offensive display.

St. Mary’s has denied the display was posted that long, telling investigators that supervisors were made aware of the wall in October 2016 and it was taken down on Dec. 27 of that year.

McCann said she saw the display on her first day on the job, but because she was so new to the hospital, she did not report it because she worried she would be targeted. She was so concerned about harassment, she said, that when she later needed medical care, she sought treatment at a different hospital to ensure her co-workers did not know about her health issues.

When McCann complained about the collage of patient records, she told commission investigators the workplace harassment worsened, with continued taunting from co-workers.

During the hospitals’ investigation into McCann’s complaint that her electronic medical records had been accessed, it determined three of McCann’s co-workers improperly accessed her records. One of the employees was fired, and the other two were disciplined.

The commission report does not define the discipline.

In a statement released by hospital officials Thursday, their internal “investigation found that there were no other breaches in patient privacy” beyond the McCann breach, and in a subsequent email noted that none of the items on the wall revealed any patient’s identity.

During a December 2016 meeting between McCann, her supervisor, the hospital’s risk management director and the lab director, McCann was given a copy of the hospital’s electronic records audit showing when her medical records had been accessed, and by which employees. Several days after that, McCann filed another complaint with her supervisor that her co-workers were “talking behind her back” and, in one situation, stopped talking as she approached them. According to the hospital, there was no reference in that complaint that it was disability-related harassment.

She resigned in January 2017, and filed her complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission the following month.

According to the commission investigation, St. Mary’s missed multiple deadlines to reply to McCann’s complaint to the commission, failed to provide requested contact information of witnesses and ultimately responded to McCann’s claims only through legal counsel. No one at the hospital agreed to be interviewed by investigators, or to provide any information directly to the commission.

On Thursday, after news of the “Wall of Shame” and McCann’s allegations were reported, hospital officials released a statement acknowledging the problems, assuring the public that disciplinary action had been taken against the employees involved, and apologizing to McCann.

On Friday morning the Sun Journal sent messages to Karen Sullivan, vice president of corporate communications for Covenant Health, and to Steven Jorgensen, president of St. Mary’s Health System and senior vice president of Covenant Health, which owns St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, for comment. The messages were not returned as of Friday evening.

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