Save the date for our next public event!
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – Cleveland, OH
If you missed the Walk on September 8th… here’s your second chance! Walk with me in solidarity, to hold surgeons accountable for respecting the wishes of their patients who choose to go flat after mastectomy. Walk details to follow later this week.
Why October 23rd? Well, Cleveland Clinic, the #2 hospital in the nation, who has actively and repeatedly covered up the malpractice perpetrated against me in 2017 by their surgeon Dr. Steven Bernard, will be holding their 2018 “Medical Innovation Summit” from October 22-24. The Clinic says that this conference will “… cut[s] through the noise to ultimately deliver results to those who need it most: our patients.”
I call shenanigans on this. Delivering results to patients? In my experience, Cleveland Clinic delivered me up a heaping platter of medical battery with a side of assault, followed up with an expertly constructed dish of gaslighting the crap out of me, with a distinct finish of stonewalling and deceit. And I am far from the only woman who has experienced this battery. Dozens of women have shared their similar stories with Not Putting on a Shirt, and with Catherine Guthrie, published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, in recent months. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Medical assault and battery against mastectomy patients who forgo reconstruction is a systemic problem in the culture of the surgical establishment. I guarantee they won’t be talking about that inside of their conference hall.
… And that’s where we come in, folks.
We are here to say, “NO,” to demand that hospitals PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS.
I may not be able to offer my supporters the “keynote meals and nightly cocktail hours… it is kind of a big deal” that Cleveland Clinic lavishes their donors with. But I can offer you this: the opportunity to stand up for what’s right. To stand up for those who can’t stand with us themselves, because these are CANCER PATIENTS we are talking about. To hold surgeons accountable for violating their Hippocratic Oath in a most egregious manner, victimizing some of the most vulnerable among us. And to hold hospitals accountable for knowingly allowing this malpractice to continue.
I will be out there in Cleveland on October 23rd with my shirt off, protesting this injustice for everyone at that conference to see. They won’t talk about it… but I will. I will shout it from the rooftops.
Because until surgeons and the institutions who protect them acknowledge the reality that mastectomy patients are facing under THEIR WATCH – women being left mutilated and forced into additional surgeries to repair the damage, because their surgeon didn’t respect their wishes, and was either unable or unwilling to prove them with a reasonably flat surgical result – until this reality is acknowledged, it will continue, unchanged. And women will pay the price, with our bodies and our lives.
As for Cleveland Clinic, they love to crow about their motto, “Patients First.” Their Chief Experience Officer, Adrienne Boissy, after finally relenting and speaking with me in person several months ago (well over a year after my complaint) to discuss my demands, had her assistant send me the following email:
“… We are sorry this has been difficult for you and wish the outcome was different…
Unfortunately, we recognize that despite our many calls, emails, in-person meetings and repeated investigations, we cannot meet all your expectations at this time.“
– (Stephanie Bayer, email from CCF CXO Office, July 30, 2018)
My demands (or, “expectations,” as they so dismissively call them) were, simply, that the Clinic acknowledge the malpractice and that their response was inappropriate; that they discipline Bernard as they see fit; and that they put in place a system to ensure this doesn’t happen to other patients. And the best that they could come up with in response is “we wish the outcome was different.” What an embarrassingly inadequate and disappointing response from the #2 hospital in the nation.
If Cleveland Clinic can’t get a handle on this problem, what hope do we have for the other institutions?
That’s why I’m not going away. And I’m not putting on a shirt.
Until my (simple, reasonable) demands are met and Cleveland Clinic acts in good faith to protect their patients, I’ll leave you with my words in response to Stephanie up there:
“I’ll see you on the sidewalk.”
– Kim Bowles, email to CCF CXO Office, July 30, 2018
Join me on October 23rd!
Stay tuned for event details.