WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Washington Hospital was the scene of every patient’s worst nightmare — an embarrassing photograph taken in an operating room.
For 15 years, Sheila Harosky, of Charleroi, worked at the hospital.
“I trusted my medical personnel. That’s what hurts so bad,” Harosky told KDKA’s Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Delano: “And they betrayed you?”
Harosky: “A whole lot of them.”
Harosky knew Dr. Dennis Brown and his team when she required incisional hernia surgery.
What she didn’t know was that a scrub nurse, Sharon Bourgo, with the knowledge of the others was taking intimate photographs with a cell phone; photos the nurse shared with others, and later with Harosky.
“She showed me four to six photos of me unconscious in the OR being prepped for surgery,” says Harosky. “There was my private parts. There was everything, everything that you see in the OR.”
When Harosky reported the matter, she felt the hospital wanted her to keep quiet.
And with the exception of one administrative assistant, says Harosky, “Nobody said they were sorry, except for her, not my management team, not the administration, not HR, no one.”
“It was just the opposite. They were treating me like I had done something wrong,” she said.
Harosky has filed a 17-count lawsuit against the hospital, its CEO, Dr. Brown, and the medical team, alleging invasion of privacy, among other things.
“To take a photograph of someone’s genitalia is just egregious,” said Ken Hardin, attorney for Harosky.
KDKA reached out to Washington Hospital’s CEO Gary Weinstein to get their side of this story, but his office says they have no comment because this is pending litigation.
When asked for the name of their legal counsel to discuss the legal side of this issue, KDKA was told they would not release the attorney’s name.
Has this happened to others?
“I know it’s happened to other people,” says Harosky.
Harosky and her attorney allege this has happened to at least one other patient at Washington Hospital.
KDKA has confirmed with the state Health Department that the hospital was cited for violating state policy on cell phone use. Cell phones can obviously introduce germs into a sterile environment.
KDKA did get the name of the hospital’s attorney through court records and reached out to him, but no comment, so far.