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 Post subject: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:38 pm 
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The following is the news release issued regarding the resignation of Dr. Patel:

Saint Mary’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group announce Dr. Dhimant Patel, MD has resigned from his position as medical director of the James Beck Cancer Center in Rhinelander. He plans to continue practice through Dec. 31. Having initially learned of Dr. Patel’s intentions on Sept. 1, hospital, medical group and system leaders immediately engaged in dialog with Dr. Patel in hopes of averting this outcome. These efforts did not produce the desired result and a physical of excellent quality will be leaving the community, according to a press release.

“My family and I believe that the timing is right for me to pursue a career-advancing opportunity at a larger cancer center (the Lombardi Cancer Center in Green Bay),” Dr. Patel reports. “I have enjoyed being a member of the Rhinelander community for the past 19 years and having the opportunity to build the state-of-the-art James Beck Cancer Center. I treasure the relationships that I have established here and will keep them in a special place in my heart.”

“We are committed to providing ongoing top quality cancer care at the James Beck Cancer Center,” Monica Hilt, president of Saint Mary’s Hospital stated. “We sincerely regret any additional emotional burden that our patients will face during our transition in clinical leadership and oncology service providers. Kathy Richards, administrative director for the center, and staff will continue to work with each patient and their families to assure their treatment is not interrupted.”

“This is a very difficult time during a significant staffing transition,” said Richards. “But through it all, Ministry Health Care is committed to keeping the cancer center operating and committed to our patients and their families in the Northwoods.”
“We value the relationship we have with Dr. Patel and are disappointed he has decided to leave the organization,” said Dr. Anselmo Nunez, president of Ministry Medical Group. “We will maintain medical oncology services at the James Beck Cancer Center and work with Dr. Patel’s patients to assure continuity of care. “We wish him the best in his personal and professional pursuits.”

Ministry Medical Group is actively securing well-trained and qualified oncology specialists to serve the patients of the James Beck Cancer Center and is confident a break in services will not be experienced. Medical (chemotherapy) and radiation oncology services are both provided at the cancer center, the press release indicates. For more information, contact Richards, RN/MS and administrative director at 715-361-4779.


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:41 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the Oct. 10-3-06 Tomahawk Leader:

Overwhelmingly heartbreaking...

To the Editor:

The news of the resignations of Dr. Dhimant Patel, oncologist, and Nancy Carl, RN, OCN, oncology physician assistant, is overwhelmingly heartbreaking, to say the least. The issues pertaining to such grave decisions must be quite serious and legitimate to drive such two completely dedicated physicians to terminate their positions. The issue my husband, Tom, and I have is personal.

Two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage four. Through word of mouth, acquaintances who have been treated for their cancer highly recommended Dr. Patel in Rhinelander. As it turned out, I was blessed with the best, the care of Dr. Patel, Nancy Carl, their nurses and staff. They assured me of Dr. Patel’s philosophy of treatment, a total management of care and team effort. Our family has experienced firsthand how the Beck Cancer Center is not only a profession to Dr. Patel and Nancy Carl, it is their lives. They are truly dedicated to the well-being of each patient, the care as well as the cure needed for each individual. My positive physical and psychological well-being during treatment and recovery is the result of such dedication.

Cancer is a devastating and definitive disease that affects the whole family. When entering the clinic, never once did we feel like we had to punch in a time card, rotating through an assembly line. We felt my overall health and wellbeing was their top priority. Our thanks go to Dr. Patel who developed such a nurturing environment through his unique and genuine concern, care, intelligence and ‘search for a cure’ for each patient. He truly carries out the motto, “Where Caring Makes the Connection.” A department such as this evolved and flourished only through his selflessness.

“Where Caring Makes the Connection” should also reflect on administrative concern for all Ministries’ health care providers. It seems only logical that their health and wellbeing should be of utmost importance so they are able to physically and mentally do their job to the best of their ability. Overworking and understaffing is not a way to increase quality productivity in any management. It is mind-boggling that a chain of administration can let such an incredible department of the hospital be jeopardized. In our opinion, this oncology unit has built stronger confidence by the community in Ministry Health Care/Saint Mary’s Hospital in general. Management smugly stated on Channel 12 news, “There won’t be a gap.” There’s already been a gap with understaffing, the resignation of Dr. Cheema, and now with two more resignations.

Voices need to be heard that can speak louder than financial motives and be heard above political gains. Maybe it’s only our silent prayers that will be the loudest voices of all. Consciences need to be touched.

Total respect will follow Dr. Patel and Nancy Carl wherever they go and whatever they choose to do because of the “quality of care” they demand for each individual. And they truly deserve such respect.

Ann and Tom Freude
Tomahawk


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:42 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the 10-3-06 Tomahawk Leader:

Given away one of the best …

To the Editor:

The following letter was written by my husband and sent to the administration at Ministry Medical Group. The people of the community deserve to know that Dr. Patel places patient care first. It breaks my heart to know that Dr. Patel has had to go through something like this in his lifetime. Don’t be disillusioned by Ministry’s public relations department “spinning” the blame onto Dr. Patel. Ministry should take full responsibility for this catastrophic loss to our community. Keep this in mind when walking through the doors at any Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother facility. They have given away one of the best doctors this community has ever known. Don’t take my word for it, ask anyone.

Julie Winger
Tomahawk
***
To Whom it May Concern:

I recently read a letter to the editor in the Rhinelander Daily News regarding Dr. Dhimant Patel and Nancy Carl’s potential resignation. I personally don’t know all the circumstances and issues surrounding the letter, but as a business owner I can assure you I understand that for a letter of this magnitude to show up in a local newspaper there is a serious problem. If I would read a letter in the local newspaper regarding inadequate working conditions at my company, I would have to realize that I have “dropped the ball” and have mismanaged an issue.
No matter what the requests are, knowing Dr. Patel, I’m sure they are made with patient care and quality of life in mind. Not personal gain or selfishness. Perhaps patient care and quality of life isn’t at the top of the list for Ministry Health Care? The mission statement of Ministry Health Care states: “Our mission as a Catholic health care system is to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well-being of all people, especially the poor, in the communities we serve.” If anyone improves the “well-being of all people,” it’s Dr. Patel and Nancy Carl.

My wife has been under the care of Dr. Patel and Nancy Carl for 10 years and personally I feel if it wasn’t for the two of them, she may not be with me today. These two individuals show compassion which I have never seen before. I have never heard a negative word about either of these individuals. When my wife was ready to give up, these people gave her hope. They helped our whole family deal with the physical and psychological issues that accompany cancer. To my family this is a matter of life and death. What is left if you don’t have confidence in your caregiver?

Dr. Patel is without question the most intelligent individual I have ever met. He not only understands the science behind health issues, but he understands that patients need more than scans, tests, radiation and chemical treatments. Dr. Patel saves lives. Period. I have spoken with literally hundreds of patients and doctors alike that know these two individuals and would reiterate my sentiment. They are cherished resources for our community. These individuals are the oncology department. Without them, you are just another clinic.

Sincerely,
Chris E. Winger
Tomahawk


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:44 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the 10-3-06 Tomahawk Leader:

Doctors disappearing …

To the Editor:

How marvelous!

I have finally figured it out.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld must have (in addition to his other duties) taken over the administration of Ministry Health Corporation!

Think about it. We have new multi-million dollar Ministry clinics and hospitals in Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Minocqua, etc. that are becoming Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib Prisons.
We, the patients are now the “prisoners.”

Our doctors and nurses (like our country’s professional senior military generals and staff) are now told how they will operate their respective missions.

Either tow the mark, take early retirement or leave.
And that’s exactly what they are doing! I am receiving calls from all over the Northwoods from patients who say their doctors are “disappearing.”

With these gorgeous new medical facilities how come Ministry is having so much difficulty attracting bright young physicians?
And how come, after the James Beck family coughed up millions for Rhinelander’s new Beck Cancer Center, Doctor Dhimant Patel and Oncology Physician Assistant Nancy Carl feel forced to leave?

It will take more than a Ministry press release to satisfy this writer and cancer survivor.

Yes … it must be Rumsfeld behind all this.

But … have hope. Aspirus is coming!

Sincerely,
Dick Timmons
Rhinelander

(Timmons is retired editor and publisher of The Daily News in Rhinelander.)


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:32 pm 
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Dear Editor, Tomahawk News Leader,

As a cancer survivor and patient of Dr. Patel’s, a physician colleague, and a Ministry Medical Group physician leader I have a unique perspective on Dr. Patel’s recent resignation.

I was diagnosed with non-Hogkins lymphoma in March of this year and personally experienced the excellent and compassionate care offered by Dr. Patel and his team at the James Beck Cancer Center in Rhinelander. As an oncology patient and a physician colleague I regret his decision to leave – I share viscerally in the sense of loss that surrounds his recent announcement.

From a physician leadership perspective within Ministry Medical Group (MMG) I am convinced that good faith negotiations were made from both the MMG’s and Dr. Patel’s perspective. It is an unfortunate fact of life that mutually acceptable compromises cannot always be made.

I am also convinced of the commitment MMG has to provide high quality, accessible oncology services and continuing care to Rhinelander and its surrounding communities. MMG will use all its available resources to insure continuity of care during this transitional period as well as to achieve future growth and development of the James Beck Cancer Center at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Sincerely,

Robert Sookochoff, MD
Cancer survivor
Family Physician
Service Line Medical Director for Primary Care – Ministry Medical Group
Rhinelander


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:34 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the Oct. 10 Tomahawk Leader:

Industrialization of health care …

To the Rhinelander area community:

We are losing a valued medical provider in Dr. Patel at the Cancer Center in Rhinelander. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated event. Medicine is evolving from a person-to-person helping model into a market-based business model, and what we are seeing is the industrialization of health care services. The patient moves down the assembly line, and the clinicians are told to produce more, more, faster, faster. This change is affecting all medical systems, not just Ministry. It does not produce an environment that is conducive to good health care, good long-term care or preventive services.

I have lost all three of my medical providers in the past year, one in Tomahawk, one in Eagle River and an entire department in Woodruff. Everyone should be concerned about the market forces and government policies (or lack of policies) and management style that creates the current situation. See beyond the glitzy new hospitals and clinics, expensive full page ads in every newspaper, and promotion of lucrative procedures in direct-mail newsletters. We need to make radical changes in our health care systems that promote good health, serve people’s real health care needs and preserve good clinicians.

Laurie Groskopf
Tomahawk


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:17 pm 
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To the editor:

Once again I have broken my promise not to write a letter to the editor. I do so this time from the heart, not to point out the continued failure of our politicians, but to respond to very detrimental and misleading statements I have read and heard about Dr. Patel’s resignation from Ministry Health Care.

Let me assure you that no one like Donald Rumsfeld works for Ministry Health Care. If that were the case, I would resign as I will not work for an organization with autocratic management. The leadership of Ministry Health Care spent countless hours with Dr. Patel, searching for a mutually acceptable contract for employment and administration of the James Beck Cancer Center. Mr. Beck would have been satisfied with the degree of negotiations, but like the entire community he would not be pleased with the outcome. We all hold Dr. Patel in the highest regard and his decision to leave is devastating. However, Ministry Health Care is absolutely committed to continuing high quality cancer treatment in Rhinelander.

I remain an ardent critic of poor decisions and injustice. I would be the first to resign from Ministry Health Care, if I believed quality of care was being compromised. I have remained in Rhinelander over 21 years, because with the help of Ministry, we have been able to excel in providing high quality care, exceeding that available in most communities our size. This community has remarkable medical facilities and dedicated and caring staff. The new Aspirus Clinic will offer an alternative for medical care, but do not make a mistake by believing they will provide better care than Ministry Health Care.

Harry Skye, MD
Eagle River

<small>[ October 10, 2006, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: Kerry Tobin ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:16 pm 
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To the Editor,

As a member of the professional staff at the James Beck Cancer Center, I am devastated by the loss of Dr. Patel. Of the 10 or so medical oncologists I have worked with, he is at the top of the list. His dedication, compassion and knowledge are unparalleled. Because of him, a city of 8,000 has an excellent cancer center.
However, I would like the public to know that cancer care is a team approach and many talented professionals remain.
The Radiation Oncology Department has a stable, talented team including an experienced physicist, dosimetrist, therapists and nurses. A total of 135 years of experience remain in the department.

Medical oncology nurses are a rare blend, possessing compassion, technical expertise and dedication. I do not detect a wholesale exodus from the Cancer Center. Rather, they wish to remain and continue their dedication to patient care.
We are dedicated to continue excellent cancer care.

Sincerely,

Dr. David Cattau
Radiation Oncologist
Rhinelander


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:17 pm 
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To the Editor:

The departure of Dr. Patel is unfortunate. The numerous letters in local newspapers are testimony to the impact his quality care has made on our Northwoods community. He will be missed by his patients and colleagues.

An old friend once said, “There are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth.” Such is the case with Dr. Patel’s resignation. His frustration with clinic administration was evidently well recognized and acknowledged. In spite of this, good faith efforts were made to retain Dr. Patel by administrative and medical personnel in an attempt to answer his requests. The negotiating committee met and exceeded its responsibilities in this matter, while still being mindful of legal and ethical constraints.

In the end, it was Dr. Patel who made the decision to leave for Green Bay for what sounds like a wonderful professional opportunity.

As with any change, there is both fear of the uncertain and cautious optimism for the future. However, Dr. Patel’s departure does not diminish the care and concern the rest of us, as staff and physicians, continue to provide to the people in our area. We guarantee that will continue.

We, the undersigned believe that while the emotions of the moment are strong, what is even stronger is our sense of community, responsibility and above all, dedication we feel in serving our patients.

We are, and will continue to be … you neighbors.

Richard Pantalone, MD
Harry Skye, MD
Pamela Galloway, MD
Steve Brooks, MD
Dorothy Skye, MD
Steve Brown, MD


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:18 pm 
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To the Editor:

Dr. Patel has been my oncologist for the past eight years. I couldn’t have been blessed with a more compassionate, professional and caring doctor. When the times were rough, he would always find the time to console and encourage me. His care extended well beyond medical expertise.

When several of my friends in the area were diagnosed with cancer, I always gave them the reassurance Dr. Patel would administer the best care and compassion for them. They are cancer survivors because of Dr. Patel. These friends continue to tell others of the quality care given them by Dr. Patel.
Dr. Patel will continue his practice in Green Bay, I and other of his patients intend to continue under his care there.
I understand Ministry Health has lost several doctors, can they afford to lose more?

“Caring makes the connection” is becoming an empty slogan.
I understand a hospital is a business and costs have to be met, but should excessive profits take a priority over health care?
Of course, I was not privy to Ministry’s negotiations, but it would seem Ministry could have done something to accommodate Dr. Patel to persuade him to continue with Ministry Health.
I hope other patients of Ministry Health will inundate Ministry’s execs. with protestations on their handling physicians to encourage them to stay.
If they stay the course they are on I can see Aspirus continuing to expand.

Sincerely,

Darlene Likwarz, Cancer Survivor
Patient of Dr. Patel
Tomahawk


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:19 pm 
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To the Editor,

Once again I have broken my promise not to write a letter to the editor. I do so this time from the heart, not to point out the continued failure of our politicians, but to respond to very detrimental and misleading statements I have read and heard about Dr. Patel’s resignation from Ministry Health Care.
Let me assure you that no one like Donald Rumsfeld works for Ministry Health Care. If that were the case, I would resign as I will not work for an organization with autocratic management. The leadership of Ministry Health Care spent countless hours with Dr. Patel, searching for a mutually acceptable contract for employment and administration of the James Beck Cancer Center. Mr. Beck would have been satisfied with the degree of negotiations, but like the entire community he would not be pleased with the outcome. We all hold Dr. Patel in the highest regard and his decision to leave is devastating. However, Ministry Health Care is absolutely committed to continuing high quality cancer treatment in Rhinelander.

I remain an ardent critic of poor decisions and injustice. I would be the first to resign from Ministry Health Care, if I believed quality of care was being compromised. I have remained in Rhinelander over 21 years, because with the help of Ministry, we have been able to excel in providing high quality care, exceeding that available in most communities our size. This community has remarkable medical facilities and dedicated and caring staff. The new Aspirus Clinic will offer an alternative for medical care, but do not make a mistake by believing they will provide better care than Ministry Health Care.

Harry Skye, MD
Rhinelander


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:53 pm 
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To the Greater Northwoods Community,

I have been proud to be a part of the Northwoods for the past 19 years. It has been an honor and a privilege to be side-by-side with all the patients and their families over the years. We have been through the ups and downs together, battling this dreadful disease called cancer, and I am grateful for the trust you have shown during these trying times. You have taught me a lot and we have learned life’s lessons together.

I am deeply grateful to all the nurses at the James Beck Cancer Center, Saint Mary’s Hospital and Hospice. They are all angels and I ask for God’s blessing on all of them. Their hard work, caring and love to cancer patients and their families have enabled me to provide the finest cancer care in the Northwoods. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would also like to acknowledge the support of most of the providers over the years.

A big “thank you” to all the teachers and coaches that played a role in helping raise and educate my children. They have given them a solid foundation and have taught them valuable life lessons. Thanks to other community members, including the soccer kids and their parents, as well as the staff and instructors at Nicolet College who have made my wife feel at home.
I would also like to thank the Beck family for their support, love and understanding. The late Mr. James Beck was a true friend and his family is my family.

The last 19 years could not have been better. Everyone has been loving and accepting of the Patel family. I am going to Green Bay with a heavy heart, but know that I always did the best and loved my “extended family” – patients, families, friends and even all those soccer kids.

You are in my heart and I will take you with me for all eternity.
Dr. Dhimant Patel

Rhinelander


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 Post subject: Re: Patel resignation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:53 pm 
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To the People of the Northwoods,

I wish to express my sincere thanks to all the patients and families that I have had the privilege of caring for since coming to Rhinelander. Additionally, I want to thank the staffs of Saint Mary’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group for their assistance in providing the very best care to our patients.

Thirty-four years ago I began my career here under the guidance of Sister Humilia at Saint Mary’s Hospital. She taught me not only the science, but also the art of caring for the sick and ministering to their families. Subsequently, I spent several years in the emergency department which allowed me to provide care and comfort at a critical time, while maintaining these same relationships.

In 1987, I had the good fortune to begin working for and with Dr. Dhimant Patel, oncologist with the Rhinelander Medical Group which later became Ministry Medical Group. Again, I was caring for my neighbors, friends, colleagues and others in the community. The journey through cancer and treatment is frightening and exhausting but you have faced it with grace, courage and dignity. Thank you for your support and friendship. I will carry these memories with me forever.

Nancy Carl
Nurse Practitioner
Oncology
Rhinelander


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