Out of the many, here's one that stood out. Dr. Rodney Malinowski was fired by All Saints Healthcare in 1998 after speaking out about All Saints' restrictive covenant that prevented local doctors splitting off and starting their own clinics. While the JT doesn't have his commentary online, here are letters in response that give a flavor of what he wrote (here, too).
Dr. Malinowski weighed in on RacinePost about the current dispute and suggests Racine can do better than Wheaton-Franciscan. Here's his comment, in full:
I am a former Racine physician now working in a different Wisconsin community, but I still have ties to Racine. I read these blog comments with interest, because these are the very same issues which prompted the exodus of fifty-some physicians from Racine in 1996-1998, and led to my highly publicized termination from All Saints in 1998.
From my former experience, I will say that Wheaton's leadership will be unresponsive to community pressure to change. The corporate execs and public relations personnel will always put a WFHC "positive spin" on the issues, and paint the doctors as greedy. For those who hope Wheaton would release All Saints from its umbrella - forget it! Wheaton OWNS St. Mary's. The only thing which will change WFHC's behavior is competition from another hospital system which would impact their revenues. That's an issue the mayor and city government could facilitate. Otherwise, the Racine Common Council really cannot interfere in the operation of a private business.
As for the Journal Times' reporting, recognize that WFHC is one of their largest advertising clients. They are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. And the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters? They get their information, if any, on these events from their CEO, John Oliverio. What bias do you suppose he has? The one thing doctors and Racinians can do is to make certain the Chairman and Board of Directors of the hospital system are aware of these problems. They, too, get a biased presentation from Oliverio at board meetings, but at least some of these corporate citizens have an interest in Racine's future health care.
Do know that you still have many well trained and caring providers at WFHC, but they are fearful of retaliation if they speak out publicly. Fortunately, I don't have to fear them anymore. And a word of support for all the frustrated doctors and staff who are fighting for your principles and patients' best interests - take heart that situations are NOT like this all over the state. There are many hospital systems which have respectful, trusting, collaborative relationships with their medical staffs, employed or independent. I now work for one of them.
Rodney W. Malinowski, MD
Keep the comments flowing in. We're compiling a list of concerns for a bigger story this week about Wheaton-Franciscan's billing problems and the looming split between the health care provider and its doctors.