The State Medical Board of Ohio has issued a citation to Dr. Lara Kollab that it intends to impose disciplinary action on her – ranging from limiting her license to permanent suspension, as well as the potential for fines.
Kollab’s anti-Semitic tweets were publicized by Canary Mission, an anonymous website that exposes anti-Semitic posts on social media, resulting in dismissal from her residency at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.
“Although you asserted in your June 2019 deposition that you now feel ashamed of your discriminatory comments, when asked if your tweets reflect good moral character, you admitted that they do not,” Dr. Kim G. Rothermel, secretary of the medical board, wrote in a July 10 letter to Kollab. “Further, for any violations that occurred on or after September 29, 2015, the board may impose a civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed $20,000.”
Kollab has the right to request a hearing within 30 days of the notice prior to the state medical board’s action.
“We issue a citation which is basically putting one of our licensees or training certificate holders on notice that they are going to face discipline from the medical board,” said Tessie Pollock, director of communication for the State Medical Board of Ohio. “They have a right to a hearing. So they can request a hearing or we can proceed without one.”
Pollock said if there is a hearing, the case will be reviewed and a recommendation will be offered to the board, which then will take formal action.
As of July 22, Kollab had not requested a hearing, Pollock said. Kollab’s lawyer, Ziad Tayeh, said he would not comment on the situation.
Kollab said in the deposition she posted two tweets in 2011, five in 2012 and four in 2013 that were anti-Semitic.
One tweet, included in the four-page citation letter dated to May 4, 2013, reads, “Studying for my med micro final, came across this. Clearly I pay attention in class and write useful notes. People who support Israel should have their immune cells killed so they can see how it feels to not be able to defend yourself from foreign invaders.”
Kollab graduated from John Carroll University in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, on May 19, 2013, according to the letter, and she told the state medical board all of the offensive tweets were written when she was an undergraduate student.
Three of the tweets, Rosenthal pointed out, were posted subsequent to her graduation, including this one, from Sept. 13, 2013, also listed in the letter: “Norm. Jewish. Constantly remind ppl of the Holocaust, relate those who did 9/11 to Nazis, justify Israel’s bloodlust. Disgusting.”
Kollab graduated from Touro Osteopathic Medical School in New York City in June 2018, “which you described as ‘deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition,’” the letter reads. Kollab admitted in her deposition to deleting the anti-Semitic tweets and “acknowledged that if Touro had known of your anti-Semitic tweets they probably would not have admitted you as an osteopathic medical student,” according to the letter.
On Oct. 18, 2018, Kollab resigned in lieu of termination from Cleveland Clinic, according to the letter.
After she left the Clinic, she applied and was initially “matched” with Kerns Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif. However, the medical center “withdrew the position” prior to offering her a formal contract once officials learned of her “discriminatory social media posting,” according to the letter.
“When (Kerns) asked you why you left the (Cleveland Clinic) residency training program, you claimed that you had resigned because of a death in the family,” the letter states. “You did not disclose that, in fact, you had resigned in lieu of termination due to your discriminatory social media posting.”
In addition, the letter states Kollab replied to Canary Mission on Dec. 27, 2018, with the following message: “That’s a fake account, stop trying to frame me, you psychos. You’re an anonymous website harassing me with a fake twitter profile made of me. Every Jewish and non-Jewish patient I’ve ever had will speak to how much I love and care for ALL of my patients.”
The letter states Kollab’s actions “constitute a failure to furnish evidence satisfactory to the board of good moral character.”
In addition, the letter states that her acts constitute “making a false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statement … in relation to the practice of medicine and surgery …” referring to a clause used in the Ohio Revised Code, Section 4731.22(B)(5).