The New York State Health Department is looking into a report accusing orthpedic surgeon Michael Clarke, 47, of indecent behavior in the operating room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. In addition, the Onondoga County District Attorney’s Office has initiated a grand jury investigation against him.
According to 11 out of 13 employees interviewed at the Center, Clarke “sometimes slapped patients,” while 8 stated that he “used sexually explicit language during operating room cases,” while 3 staffers claimed that Clarke “called anesthetized patients names, such as ‘fat ___ ,’ while slapping them hard.”
While the testimonies are disturbing in themselves, what is even more troubling is the fact that the hospital did nothing about Clarke’s actions despite being aware of complaints against him for over a year. As a result, St. Joseph’s stands to lose any payments for its Medicare and Medicaid programs, despite its assurance that disciplinary action has now been taken.