Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Forecast - A Chance of Protests at Memorial Hermann over woman arrested at OBGYN's office!

We are an independent practice and not owned by Memorial Hermann.

Yet, our main office is at Memorial City.

 If the forecast is "sunny with a chance of protests",  please leave early and use the covered parking lots to bypass any congestion.

Dr. Rotenberg

A Message from President & CEO Dan Wolterman

Dear Memorial Hermann Medical Staff Physician,

You may be aware of a recent incident regarding a patient being arrested at one of the Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) clinics. As a result, there has been some news coverage and online conversation that has inadvertently and unfortunately thrust Memorial Hermann into the immigration discussion in this country. As an affiliated physician of Memorial Hermann you should know the facts and truth about this situation: The patient's arrest was not about immigration or residency status.

The patient arrived at our clinic for routine care where she presented potentially false identification. For quality and safety reasons, our staff requests and verifies proper identification to ensure appropriate treatment. The patient was unable to provide another valid form of identification and in an effort to verify the authenticity of the suspicious driver's license, the office then called the licensing bureau of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS instructed our staff to contact local law enforcement to validate the driver's license number. This inquiry confirmed a false identification. Local law enforcement took this information and made the decision to arrest the patient. To our knowledge, this is a unique event in Memorial Hermann's history.

We did not ask for this individual to be arrested. This is a decision that was made by law enforcement, including the District Attorney's office. We did not press charges. We simply called DPS to question a potentially false identification.

At Memorial Hermann, our responsibility and commitment is to care for all patients - regardless of their race, ethnicity, color, religion, immigration or residency status. As you know, we do not ask our patients about residency or immigration status nor do we report an undocumented patient to law enforcement.

Nevertheless, in the coming days, we anticipate more attention to this issue, including a planned protest at our corporate offices at Memorial City on Thursday. Due to the anticipated protest, additional media attention, and heightened emotion around the immigration issue, we are asking our employees to be alert and vigilant about suspicious activity at their facility. Our concern is for the safety of our patients and staff. Please immediately contact security if you have a concern.

If approached by the news media or if you receive inquiries from the public, do not respond and immediately email the Corporate Communications team Please be mindful of our social media policy, as well.

We appreciate the great care and compassion you demonstrate daily to our patients and their families. You should be proud of our 108-year history of providing exceptional care to all patients in the region we serve. Annually, we treat approximately 2 million patients - many of whom are uninsured and/or potentially undocumented. Indeed, this past year, we provided more than $430 million towards improving access to health care for thousands of families in our region. We are a System that cares for all people.

What happened to the patient is unfortunate. We also appreciate the sensitivity of this matter. As such, we consider this an opportunity to evaluate our processes and if necessary, improve them. Thank you for all that you do. You are the reason our System is nationally recognized for providing the highest quality and safest care in the country.


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