Thanks are due to both Dr. Kim Ervin and the North Coast Journal for telling this story ("The Whistleblower," Jan. 16). As is expected in such situations, the executives of Mad River Hospital have responded to real concerns with personal attacks on the integrity of the messenger, rather than addressing the actual points raised. Such are the effects of light shone in dark corners. For shame. They have now attempted their petty, local exile of a highly experienced physician.
Fortunately, this article is very instructive: Dr. Ervin's is a portrait of aggravated devotion and courage throughout her professional life, a doctor whose current callous mistreatment shines a light on issues of the state of family and women's healthcare in Humboldt County. (We have here a hospital that sees little need for community doctors or continuity of care and whose executive staffing is a bit shady, it seems.)
In her interview, Dr. Ervin teaches a bit about the nuts and bolts of healthcare services and technology, the importance of electronic records and ethical commitment. She has shown how administrative whim and expediency trump the availability of real medical services so badly needed in our county. Perhaps most importantly, this article illustrates clearly why we have retained so few healthcare professionals where and when we need them.
Medical policy and services should be in the hands of the providers, not run by bureaucrats firing doctors and then offering poor explanations for their skewed priorities.
Dr. Ervin, your community wishes you the best.
Stephen Infantino, Arcata
I just read the article about what happened to Dr. Ervin at Mad River Hospital and I am appalled at what has been going on over there. It especially bothers me that she was blocked from informing her patients about this transition and that the hospital did nothing to let patients know what to do about renewing prescriptions or getting further care for ongoing issues. I understand that she still has hospital privileges because she has done nothing unethical but is blocked from using the computer. This is ridiculous. In essence, this keeps her from being able to get records or write notes, doesn't it? This doesn't take into consideration her clients right now who will need babies delivered or have operations scheduled.
I am a long-term patient of Dr. Ervin's (for at least 19 years) and just found out about this issue yesterday. Dr. Ervin is an ethical person and one of the best doctors I have ever had. When I had cancer, she advocated for me to get timely testing that shortened the wait time for lab results by at least a month. She is consistent in her demeanor and care and treats her patients with respect.
There has to be something very wrong with Mad River Hospital to lose such a high quality physician like Dr. Ervin from their physician roster. Why keep someone with serious disciplinary problems and get rid of someone with high ethical standards? She has done so much for women's healthcare for our community and in a shrinking physician population, this was a serious judgment mistake from administration.
Diana Lubitz, Arcata