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Doctor, doctor tell me the news

Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD
Sarver Heart Center
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Post Office Box 245046
Tucson, Arizona 85724-5046

Dear Dr. Sweitzer:

I spent a lifetime as a newspaper man so I understand intimately the meaning of snafu and fubar. But I have to say the Sarver Heart Center under its new management offered me an entirely new perspective.

For a little short of three decades Dr. Gordon Ewy was my cardiologist. I would put him up for sainthood, but he would not accept. It was a sad day when he retired.

Upon his retirement, I saw nurse practitioner Donner in May last year who noted that I was in fairly good shape. But she left as well. I had an appointment to see her last November. I received a letter in the mail that I had an appointment with someone of whom I had never heard. Didn’t say spit about this doctor being my new cardiologist. Then, I got a call to make an appointment for a scan. But I had no doctor and no Donner. I spoke with someone in your office, described my predicament. She said in semi-hysterical terms she could not help me, and moreover she didn’t know what to tell me. So I muttered some words (old Anglo-Saxon) appropriate to the occasion and decided I could probably do without a cardiologist since my last occurrence of SVT was many years past.

But the mischief of your heartless center casts a long shadow. I had prescriptions that required renewal. Rosemary at Walgreens called to obtain a renewal for a prescription ordered by either Ewy or Donner. She was told I had to make an appointment at the heart center. But I had no doctor, no nurse practitioner, no one with whom I could make an appointment. This was a problem worthy of Doc Daneeka.

I worked around this problem by contacting my primary, Dr. Randall Brown who prescribed the drug.

I would have let it go when it happened again today. But this was too much. Rosemary at Walgreens tried to obtain a renewal for atenolol. Someone named Sisterman at Sarver denied it. Perhaps I should not blame Sisterman because she doesn’t know me from Adam. But when it comes down to it, that’s the point, is it not? Once I was a Sarver patient. I could call the center and speak to an actual responsive human being. For many years it was Isabel, a Noo Yawker who took care of my appointments, offered tasty morsels at her desk and advised me on other matters with great wisdom. When Isabel retired, I could deal with Debbie who was efficient and cheerful. Today I am unknown, and Sarver cares not a whit. By the way, Jack Sarver gave me the loan to buy my first house in Tucson. He was a good man, a good Democrat and easy to reach.

Which is unlike the center that bears his name. I called the Sarver Center today. I could press this number and that, and when I did so was told I could leave a message. I muttered some appropriate words (Anglo-Saxon in origin). I was thinking perhaps I should try to dial you, the director of the Sarver Heart Center, but I had to look you up. I don’t know you from Eve. But I figure you have so many barriers set up between you and the public that I would have better luck speaking to the Pope. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would.

I did not want to let it go this time around, and just indulge my un-unique Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. So please consider this a nasty letter of remonstration and my testimonial that the Sarver Heart Center doesn’t give a rat’s derriere for its patients.


Former patient
(Seriously pissed off)