A patient appealed to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. board yesterday to intervene in the advisory board’s decision to terminate the medical privileges of the former orthopedic surgeon of the Commonwealth Health Center.
Seated on a wheelchair, Ana S. Teregeyo made her personal appeal during the board’s special meeting yesterday, saying she is satisfied with Dr. Grant Walker’s services.
Teregeyo was seen and is still being seen by Walker, the orthopedic surgeon who was on a short-term contract at the Commonwealth Health Center whose medical privileges at the hospital were terminated just days before the expiration of his contract.
Walker operated on Teregeyo’s left leg on Nov. 7 last year. She recalled how Walker demonstrated his care for each and every patient and that, despite his busy schedule, Walker never forgot to visit and check on her every day.
“Following the surgery, Dr. Walker visited me every day, sometimes twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon before he went home for the day. He would ask about my pain and my need for pain killers, future physical therapy, and a need for a knee brace, which he had ordered,” said Teregeyo.
She claimed that Walker’s genuine care and expertise contributed to her recovery.
Teregeyo said she was aware since the start that Walker was contracted for one a month only. Unfortunately and without notice, she said the doctor’s employment contract was shortened by a few weeks.
“Not only that, he was barred from visiting his patients at the hospital and providing necessary care such as what he was providing me during the first few weeks after surgery. As a patient under his care, I felt disappointed for losing the only orthopedic surgeon on island,” Teregeyo told the board, adding that she felt deprived of Walker’s direct medical care and support.
She told the board that even after Walker left the island, the doctor never ceased to check on her condition and provide continued treatment.
“Recognizing Dr. Walker’s deep concern for my injured left leg and knee and to ensure that it is healing appropriately and, although he is not physically present here to provide the necessary medical guidance, his direct involvement in the healing process is very commendable,” said Teregeyo.
Teregeyo urged the board to rescind interim CEO Esther Muña’s letter to Walker, which terminated the doctor’s medical privileges at CHC.
“The letter, if not rescinded, will provide a permanent repercussion on future references for employment or professional development. Dr. Walker has shown his interest for his patients’ general well-being. It is culturally appropriate to reciprocate and return our appreciation,” she said.
The board discussed the issue in an executive session yesterday.