Meet Dr. Janis Orlowski, COO of MedStar’s Washington Hospital Center. She is also a board member at Marquette University.
You may have seen Orlowski at a news conference yesterday to update the public on the conditions of the victims of yesterday’s Navy Yard shootings. If you did, you saw her interject her personal opinions on stopping gun violence instead of doing her actual job.
Part of her remarks:
Towards the end of her time in front of the mic, Orlowski’s tone changed in response to a question about what stands out to her after Monday’s violence. “There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate,” she said, adding that ”I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots.” She added: “Let’s get rid of this. This is not America.”
Maybe she felt liberated to deviate from giving just the facts since she had just resigned from her job (effective in a month) earlier Monday morning to take “a health policy and innovation position for a national professional organization.”
Wherever she is going, she has ridden the media publicity train since yesterday’s events. Last night, Orlowski appeared on Piers Morgan and she was on the Today Show this morning, where she claimed her tangent was “spontaneous.”
In October of 2008, Orlowski gave a contribution to Obama For America. In 2007, she donated to the American Hospital Association PAC (which supported Obamacare) and to the American College of Physician Services PAC (which represents internists and also supported Obamacare.) In 2006, she also gave to the AHA PAC. In 2005, she gave to Eleanor Holmes Norton, who went on an anti-gun tangent yesterday and seemingly equated yesterday’s events to 9/11 before walking it back. In 2000, Orlowski gave to Tom Campbell, a Republican who later defended Sami al-Arian. In 1999 and 2000, she gave to the Illinois State Medical Society PAC. Barack Obama, as a state senator in Illinois, cited the Illinois State Medical Society as the reason he opposed a bill that would protect infants born alive during an abortion.
Others (besides Orlowski and Norton) who were quick to politicize yesterday’s events were David Frum, Steve Cohen, Dianne Feinstein and Barack Obama. DC Mayor Vincent Gray even tried to blame the shootings on the sequester.
The difference in Orlowski and all the others is that Orlowski serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Washington Hospital Center (which doesn’t have a great reputation to be honest.) She is in a role where she was there to discuss the medical condition and situation of patients, not give her personal opinions on policy. Considering her background, it really shouldn’t be a surprise. It will be interesting to see if this national professional organization she is going to work for is one that advocates gun control.