March 24, 2010: Hospital board should reconsider

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To The Editor:
I am writing to express my dismay over Dr. Ravunniarath’s leaving the Margaretville Family Health Center. I understand that he left because he wanted a pay raise. While I appreciate that money is hard to come by, I hope you will consider what I have to say.
In April 2007 my wife Claudia was stricken with what Dr. Lopez at Brigham Women’s Hospital Partners MS Clinic in Boston said may have been the worst onset of MS she has ever seen. After five months at Bassett Hospital and Albany Medical Center and two months at Countryside Care Center in Delhi, we were able to bring her home. It was not easy.
Her condition was so complicated and fragile that At Home Care declined us home nursing service, saying her discharge plan was “unsafe.”
My one bright memory from that time was that we met Dr. Ravunniarath. I cannot say enough about how much we appreciate his expertise and care for Claudia. She saw him at least monthly until he left. Without him I don’t believe that we could have succeeded in keeping her home all of this time.
Now I understand that the doctor who replaced Dr. Ravunniarath is leaving. This cannot be good for health care in Margaretville.
Dr. Ravunniarath’s leaving was a huge loss to the community. It is also a huge loss to the hospital and clinic. Our account records from my MVP insurance show that we must have been significant customers of the Margaretville Family Health Center.
At this time, however, Claudia and I have sought medical services elsewhere. She continues to need an Internist, not a “fill-in doctor” or a Physician’s Assistant.
We hope and pray that the board and administration will reconsider their decisions that led to his leaving and consider bringing him back so that we may once again have good health care in Margaretville.

John Jacobson,
Andes