Biracial doctor claims she was demoted for opposing hospital’s critical race theory-inspired segregated care plan

News & Politics

A biracial doctor in Minneapolis is claiming that she was demoted by her employer for opposing its critical race theory-inspired racially segregated care initiative, which resulted in assigning only black staff to treat black patients.

Dr. Tara Gustilo, a Harvard-educated doctor and mother of three black children, filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month against Hennepin Healthcare System (HHS), where she previously served as chair of the OB/GYN Department.

In the complaint, Gustilo alleges that the hospital removed her as the head of the OB/GYN department after she began openly objecting to race-based care initiatives at the hospital, which were inspired by critical race theory and the Black Lives Matter movement following George Floyd’s death.

The doctor alleged that during her six-year stint as head of the department, she worked hard to advance a multicultural care program. But she noticed that after Floyd’s death, department members “began to transform the program from one that simply sought to respect and appreciate the various cultures to one of segregated care based on race.”

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The hospital began to hold anti-racist training sessions and align itself with the Black Lives Matter movement. According to Gustilo, it even implemented a policy of assigning “black caregivers to black patients.”

When Gustilo refused to get on board with the ideology shift, her employer suggested she was suffering from “internalized whiteness” and determined that she was no longer “fit” to lead.

“They contended that my opposition to the growing, racial essentialist philosophy could potentially cause our patients to mistrust our department, create division among staff, and reflect negatively on the hospital,” Gustilo claimed in a video produced by her counsel, Foundation Against Racism & Intolerance.

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Dr. Tara Gustilo Stands Up For Pro-Human Values At Hennepin Healthcare

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“Why would people who claim to fight racism want segregation?” Gustilo asked.

Knowing that it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on political views, she contended that HHS “lied about my performance to burn my professional reputation and get rid of me that way.”

The hospital allegedly told her initially that her demotion was due to “poor communication skills” and her being “late to meetings,” but Gustilo claims she “oversaw the OB/GYN department for six years without any of these complaints ever being made before.”

In fact, she said her professional record indicates that she had “one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings of all the doctors at Hennepin Healthcare and in the nation.”

So after she pushed back against the initial claims, a human resources staffer admitted that her political views — which included social media posts — were the “trigger” for her demotion, Gustilo alleges.

Gustilo’s allegations are now before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Daily Mail noted that an EEOC complaint is typically a precursor for those who intend to file a federal discrimination lawsuit.

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