Twenty employees of 559-bed Shands Jacksonville (Fla.) Medical Center were fired last week for viewing medical records of and talking publicly about former Jacksonville Jaguars player Richard Collier, who was hospitalized there with gunshot wounds.
Hospital spokeswoman Kelly Brockmeier would not comment on the firings but said all employees are aware of the hospitals strict policies on violations of patient privacy laws. From the day you step in the door, it doesnt matter if youre a janitor or a doctor, theres constant training on it, she said.
Doug Martin, spokesman for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Florida Council 79, which represents the fired workers, said the workers conduct included peeking at Colliers files out of curiosity and advising people inside the hospital which floor Colliers room was on. To what is alleged, firing is a disproportionate response, Martin said. Collier's "identity was not stolen. Information was not leaked to the media. Police investigations were not compromised.
Collier, 27, played sporadically as offensive tackle for the Jaguars since 2006. The second-string player made national news when he was shot 14 times on Sept. 2 while waiting in a car outside the Jacksonville apartment building, and surgeons later had to amputate his left leg. -- by Joe Carlson