Dear Editor,

In response to your recent articles about Chase Brexton, I would like to offer my personal experiences. I’ve been a patient at Chase Brexton for 15 years and for the vast majority of that time have been treated with respect and dignity. I believed that my healthcare was more important than money, politics, or greed – which made Chase Brexton to me the model of what healthcare should be for everyone in this country.

Recently my faith in them has been severely shaken. A few weeks ago on the same day that a rally was planned to support five longtime and beloved employees who were fired for supporting an effort to unionize the staff to deal with a dictatorial CEO who cares more about money than healthcare, I called the center to verify an appointment time for the following week and I told them I would be coming to the center to do blood work and pick up some critically important medication.

When I arrived at the Mt. Vernon location to do that, I was greeted at the side door by security (the front door was blocked) and informed that the center had closed at 2:30 p.m. to protect staff and patients from an expected violent protest by the union organizers and no one was available to give me my medications due to the aforementioned protest.

The protest actually consisted almost entirely of staff and patients  and was very peaceful and dignified. Furthermore the management of Chase Brexton knew this to be the case and the closure was a typical union-busting tactic to paint the union as the bad guys in the battle to intimate the staff for the upcoming union vote. It was more important to demonize the union than to care for patient’s needs. My health was compromised  for a game of one-upmanship between the staff and management.

Let me make one thing very clear. The staff was not responsible for this.  This was all the CEO putting money before healthcare. If the staff were treated with respect and patient care was the priority, none of this would have happened.

I would want to request of the board of directors of Chase Brexton that if you value the mission of Chase Brexton you will terminate the CEO and see to it that this black eye on Chase Brexton’s valuable reputation is never repeated. I am very confident that I speak for the majority of your clients when I say this behavior can never be repeated or our great healthcare center will not survive.

David Spellman