Singh Steps Down

Dr. Prabhjot Singh has stepped down from his position as director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai amid a discrimination lawsuit. The Indian American will remain on the faculty in a new role. (mtsinai.org photo)

Dr. Prabhjot Singh has stepped down from his post at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, amid a discrimination lawsuit.

Crain’s New York Business reports that Singh said he is stepping down from his leadership role following a lawsuit alleging age and sex discrimination, but he will remain on the faculty in a new role.

Singh, director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and chairman of the department of health system design and global health, said the decision to leave those positions was his own, according to the report.

The Indian American will remain at the medical school as an associate professor in the departments of health system design and global health and medicine, it said.

In April seven current and former female employees and one male employee filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that alleged Singh and others at the medical school created a hostile work environment for women in their 40s and older (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/2YAjwpR).

"Nothing is more important to me personally than doing what I can to allow my colleagues to carry on their work to advance global health without further distraction," Singh said in a statement emailed by a public relations consultant. "I can step aside now knowing that the attacks on my integrity and my work have been investigated and proven false."

Singh's reference to vindication appears to acknowledge an internal investigation the medical school completed before the lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit is continuing, with Mount Sinai due to respond to the plaintiffs' claims by July 22, according to the report.

Other defendants in the case include the medical school's dean, Dr. Dennis Charney, and employees Bruno Silva and David Berman. The medical school's board of trustees said in late May that it would investigate the discrimination charges, but the results of that investigation have not yet been made public.

In a statement Charney thanked Singh "for his devotion to our school's mission and success" and said he was pleased he would remain on the faculty, the report said.

Dr. Rachel Vreeman will be the interim director of the Arnhold Institute and interim chair of the department.

The lawsuit alleged that the medical school had picked Singh to lead the global health institute in 2015 over an older female candidate who had been recommended by the search committee. The plaintiffs said Singh "promptly set about denigrating and humiliating the institute's existing employees who had been responsible for its success, most of them older women. He was abusive, dismissive and hostile."

Hundreds of medical students and faculty members have signed online petitions asking the board to hire an external consultant to investigate the allegations and urged the school to join Time's Up Healthcare, a national group targeting workplace sexual assault, harassment and inequality, the report said.

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