Letter: WhidbeyHealth shouldn’t be turning away patients

Editor,

My wife has been taking allergy shots since November of 2017. She was diagnosed with severe allergies by a doctor at an ENT in Mount Vernon. A regimen of shots were prescribed and we were told that we could go the allergy clinic in Anacortes. After several trips back and forth, the administering nurse at the Anacortes clinic said the WhidbeyHealth MAC clinic could give her the weekly shot.

The nurse in Anacortes said that she would give us the serum and all accompanying paper to take to the MAC clinic, and this was a great convenience for us, being that we did not have to make the trip to Anacortes every week.

We still had to go to Anacortes every 10 weeks for a serum increase and a bio challenge.

After that she would give us the new serum and we were instructed to keep it refrigerated between shots at the MAC Clinic.

Fast forward to February of 2019. After a visit to the Anacortes clinic we were informed that WhidbeyHealth MAC clinic would no longer be administering shots after February 28. I asked why and she said that she did not know the reason for not giving shots.

Several phone calls to the administration and being told there were no administrators available to answer my question I became very frustrated.

After a couple more phone calls and a few days later I was told the I would have to speak with the chief of operations, Ron Telles.

I asked if he was available and the receptionist said he was in a meeting but to give her my phone number and she would pass it on.

I called back the next day and again spoke to the receptionist and again I was informed that Mr. Telles was not available. She said that he would call me Friday afternoon and I was speaking to her Thursday. On Saturday, I was called by Mr. Telles and I asked him what the issue was at the MAC Clinic with the shot administration. He said that they had hired a new pharmacist, and he is the one who stopped the shots.

His explanation was that the pharmacist could not quantify the preparation, storage and handling of the serum between weekly shots.

I explained to him that my wife had been receiving shots at the MAC clinic for over a year and there had never been an issue. He began to apologize and said that there was nothing he could do.

I told him, “Why can’t my wife sign a waiver of liability every time a shot is given?” Mr. Telles told me that he would check with the hospital attorneys and see if that could be done.

The following Wednesday I got a call from Mr. Telles and he left a message for me to call him back.

I called back later that day and he answered the phone. He said that the attorneys did not think that a waiver of liability could be signed and that it was a risk for the hospital liability.

End of conversation.

Whidbey Island is unique in that there is only one hospital that services the entire populace of this island.

A hospital that loses $6 million last year is now turning away patients. This makes no since to me and I am very aggravated with the administrative staff of this hospital.

I now use Island Hospital in Anacortes.

David Penrod

Coupeville

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