Mazzoni CEO and board president resign

Mazzoni CEO and board president resign

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The longtime head of LGBT-health facility Mazzoni Center has stepped down, along with the president of the organization's board.

According to a statement from the agency, the Mazzoni board asked CEO Nurit Shein for her resignation Sunday. Board President Dr. Jimmy Ruiz also offered his resignation this weekend.

On Friday, a Mazzoni representative told PGN Shein had no plans to resign.

The board has initiated a search process for an interim CEO, after which it will conduct a search for a permanent successor.

Dr. Tony Rodriguez was selected interim board president. The board also named a new executive committee: Vice President Dr. Mark Blecher, Secretary Christopher Pope and Treasurer Dr. Tony Verdi.

Shein has been the target of scrutiny over her handling of allegations that the organization's former medical director, Dr. Robert Winn, had inappropriate sexual contact with patients. Winn resigned earlier this month, and a third-party investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

Shein also came under fire by critics who contended racially bias employment and other policies at the organization. Mazzoni and Philadelphia FIGHT were mandated to undergo bias training by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, after complaints against both and other local businesses were addressed during a PCHR hearing this fall.

Several-dozen employees walked out of Mazzoni's PCHR training last week, calling on Shein to step down amid the Winn allegations.

Protests against Shein and Mazzoni were led in large part by Black & Brown Workers Collective. BBWC member Abdul-Aliy Muhammad announced Friday that he would decline his HIV medication until Shein resigned.

The Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor's Commission on LGBT Affairs issued a statement Monday that they "stand with the community, staff and patients of the Mazzoni Center as we call for increased transparency and accountability throughout the investigation of serious allegations of misconduct. We stand in support of these individuals and we offer our assistance in light of the recent transition of leadership."

*This is a developing story that PGN will continue to update as more information becomes available.

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