Letter to Medical Director

I was hoping for feedback on the letter I intend to hand deliver to the Medical Director.  Thanks Paula for putting this together!January 17, 2011

Inova Loudoun Hospital

44045 Riverside Parkway

Leesburg, VA  20176

Attn:  Dr. Edward Puccio

Medical Director, Emergency Services

Dear Dr. Puccio,

On January 14, 2011, I had to bring my son, Ryan, to the ER Department of Inova Loudoun Hospital.  Due to a violent assault fourteen months ago, Ryan has been in a coma, and requires our care 24/7.   I have chosen to stay at home with my son in order to provide him with the best care possible.

On January 14th, during a session of exercising and stretching his limbs to help ameliorate stiffness, his arm broke.  As I’m sure you can imagine, I was shocked and heartbroken this happened.  I immediately contacted Ryan’s personal physician, Dr. Rodriquez, who instructed me to call 911 and have Ryan transported to the ER for X rays and treatment.  Ryan had a clean break and a fracture in his arm.  Dr. Dennis Bernier recommended that Ryan’s arm be given a splint rather than resetting it.  I asked for a consult with the resident Orthopedic doctor, and Dr. Bernier left the room.  I assumed he was going to locate this doctor for a consultation.  In the meantime, I contacted Dr. Rodriguez, and asked him for a referral to an Orthopedic doctor.  This doctor recommended that Ryan’s bone should be reset.

After waiting for an hour, I requested that the nurse find the doctor so that he can treat Ryan’s arm.  The doctor finally returned, only to tell me he is still trying to locate the resident Orthopedic Doctor.  It is now three hours since Ryan and I have been waiting in the emergency department.  Ryan was in pain and had still not been treated.  He was not even given ice for his arm.

The next thing that occurred was beyond what I could ever anticipate.  Someone from Adult Protective Services walked in to look at Ryan.  I then realized this was why we have been sitting here for hours with my son in pain and myself sick with worry.  Rather than taking the time to find out more about Ryan, and what our family has gone through for the last fourteen months, the doctor chose to automatically make a negative assessment about me as a father, and as a caregiver to my son.  He did not take the time to find out about the daily care I give to my son, the commitment our family has to help him recover at home, and our love for him.  The arrogance, insensitivity and poor judgment the doctor displayed in this particular situation is unacceptable.  He obviously did not care to learn details about Ryan’s history, but chose instead to make a personal judgment based on his own seriously limited knowledge about my son.

This brings me to my request to you.  I would like the opportunity to meet with you and the Emergency Department staff, so that I can provide you with information about Ryan’s condition and treatment.  In so doing, I am hoping that future misunderstandings can be prevented.  I want to know that my son will receive the treatment he needs as quickly as possible, and that the doctors will talk to me first before making unfounded assumptions.  My family and I should not have to suffer undue stress due to a doctor’s unwillingness to seek out the facts first.

Up until this point, our family has had very positive experiences with Inova Loudoun hospital, including during my son’s recent stay in the ICU.  I was not expecting to receive this kind of negative treatment in the ER, and I am so disappointed.

Please contact me at _____________ so we can arrange a time to meet.  Please bear in mind that I must make special arrangements in advance in order to do this.

Meanwhile, I would like to ask that you obtain further information about my son by going to the following links:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40679774#40679774

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104553.html

Sincerely,

Ken Diviney

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About Ryan's Rally LLC

kdiviney@ryansrally.org
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21 Responses to Letter to Medical Director

  1. Mike says:

    The letter sounds good, Ken. I’m very sorry that you have to deal with this on top of everything else that is going on, but I’m confident this can be put behind you very shortly. Good luck with meeting the Dr’s and ER staff. Stay strong.

  2. Jo Hobbs says:

    First of all, no one clicked on “average” in the rating of this letter. That was accidental when I clicked on the incorrect star. My mistake — sorry! Indeed, it is an excellent letter — go Paula, and Ken, too. I am happy you are responding to the hospital regarding your inexcusable treatment by non/Dr. Bernier so quickly. The fact that Ryan was not treated for 3 hours just makes me sick, and I am — still mad, but still here. Love

  3. Cheryl Onderchain says:

    GREAT letter! So glad you are sending that over to INOVA. I still can’t believe this doctor didn’t realize who you all were, what’s he been living under a rock?

    Team Diviney doesn’t put up with any such nonsense, don’t they know that by now?

    You should never have had to go through what you did Friday afternoon and Ryan should not have been left so long untreated.

  4. Sam says:

    I sent you my comments on FB.

  5. Paula Yocom says:

    Hello Ken, you are more than welcome! The main thing I hope to see is that the hospital recognizes the doctor did not ask basic questions necessary in order to make a correct assessment. Ryan should not have anything in his chart that indicates this call was ever necessary. Next, I hope an appropriate representative from the hospital will contact you in order to have a dialogue about (a) how this situation was handled; (b) the effect on Ryan and on you having to wait for three hours for treatment; (c) the recommendation of a splint, rather than setting the bones; (d) all the particulars of Ryan’s medical issues so that, in case of future visits, he can receive prompt and appropriate care. Again, I am sorry you had to go through this, and I am praying that any future visits will be handled in a more beneficial and compassionate way. You are awesome, Ken, and so is Sue. Every day I marvel at your fortitude, all in the name of love for your children. I hope you are able to get some rest today. Love & prayers, Paula

  6. Anna says:

    Way to go Paula and Ken!!! Even if this buffoon of a “doctor” suspected abuse basic first aid would have called for ice to the tissues in the area of the broken bones to decrease swellng and to help alleviate pain! RICE … rest, ice, compression and elevate. RICE is learned in basic first aid classes. An ER doctor should surely know this, abuse aside, Ryans arm was broken and should have been Dennis Bernier’s #1 triage problem with his patient. Thank God nothing more serious was wrong with Ryan at this visit. YOU GO KEN, you got this!!!

  7. Sam says:

    Make sure you put relevant Dr’s that have privileges at that hospital and that you deal with regularly as CC’s on this letter so that hospital is accountable to them as well.

  8. Gail Doyle says:

    The letter is perfect and so sorry it had to be written.Certainly hope you get a timely response. …. and will never have to go thru this again

  9. Rita says:

    Excellent and appropriate, and hopefully helpful to both the Emergency Dept staff and your family in Ryan’s future care at Loudoun Hospital. Paula is a Godsend, isn’t she?

  10. Carla Liberty says:

    WTG Paula and Ken! The sad thing is, this type of letter shouldn’t have had to be written in the first place. I understand the need to cross t’s and dot i’s, but basic fact-checking on the doctor’s part would have left no room for doubt.

    Ugh, still steaming!!!

    Carla

  11. Teresa says:

    Ken – I am glad you are sending this letter. This is the 3rd incident I have heard of since September with staff doctors of INOVA Loudoun hospital. Sounds to me like the staff doctors are getting a little out of control. I hope Ryan is doing OK. Know that Ryan and your family are always in our thoughts and prayers!

    Teresa

  12. Debbie Balnkers says:

    What a well thought out and put together letter. I would definitely send this to INOVA (registered and return reciept requested….just to make sure it doesn’t get “lost”). Shame, shame, shame on Dr. Bernier. It is unacceptable that Ryan had to wait 3 hours for treatment so that APS could pay you a visit. I just can’t wrap my brain around that one. I take my hat off to you though Ken, they didn’t back you down one inch. You made sure Ryan got his arm set just like it was supposed to be done. Dr. Bernier probably didn’t like you questioning his suggestion of the sub standard treatment. He is probably not used to people questioning him. I hope Ryan is having a good day today. Hugs and Prayers XOXOXOXO

  13. Cass says:

    Awesome letter, both Ken and Paula.

    Can anyone say, “malpractice?”

    Love, Cass

  14. sally ellis says:

    A very well written letter. If Dr. Bernier had just bothered to get the facts…. I hope this letter brings about positive results so you never have to go through this again. Still here and thinking about you all the time.

  15. LORI TENNANT says:

    Maybe CPS should be called on the DR since it took so long for treatment!!!

  16. Michele says:

    Ken,
    The letter sounds great. I have had several blows with INOVA, one in radiology when I was in the process of miscarrying triplets and told to “just flush that one down the toilet.” Sorry for the graphic, but it is a true story! Anyway, the director of nursing gave me a lot of lip service which is what I will expect you to get. Apologies to appease I call it! A sit down meeting, I highly doubt. I was on their medical staff for 8 years and my last dealings with them were over my son, Grant! They protect their doctor’s even when they are blatently incoompetent! Good luck, let’s hope Ryan isn’t in need of their services anytime soon! Michele and Family

    • Paula Yocom says:

      Hello Michele, that’s just terrible what happened to you, I can’t believe you were treated that way by medical staff, it is horrendous!! The arrogance of doctors is unnecessary and unacceptable. By delivering this letter to the powers that be, there will at least be documentation that the way the Divineys were treated was insenstive and not in keeping with the ideal of “first do no harm.” God bless you, Michele and thank you for your support!

  17. Patrice says:

    One thought, the Doctor and Loudoun Hospital should be sued for malpractice. This is outrageous egregious malfeseance on the part of that idiot so called Doctor. That so called Doctor who did nothing for Ryan should be suspended at the minimum and issue you an apology for his treatment towards you. I am so sorry both you and Ryan had to experience such shoddy treatment. I feel like contacting the ER Director to express my outrage over this matter. Unbelieveable!! PLEASE contact an attorney about this, that Doctor should be sued for malpractice. God Bless you, all, and again I am sorry for this happening. It just infuriates me more than words can say as I’m sure it does you, a caring, loving, devoted Parent of your son Ryan.

  18. Lisa Svendsen says:

    Be sure and cc the hospital CEO, and if you do not get an answer back quickly, I would forward the letter to all the local papers, plus The Washington Post. I have heard good things about Dr. Puccio. Still here, still praying.

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