LETTER- Hospital story alarming

I write to thank the Hook for writing the very important story on the UVA Medical Center [Cover story, "PR: UVA med center struggles with  probation," July 20]. I also would like to applaud the brave physicians who stepped forward to bring this to the public eye.

Several things were alarming. The climate of fear at UVA (one doctor saying he could lose his job if his name was revealed) and the fact that it seems to be all about money at the hospital. I did not see a whole lot said about patient care.

Hospital personnel have been cut to the bone to save money for new buildings and high salaries of administrators. This is how mistakes get made. Patients get hurt, employees get hurt, and then the community is hurt. At a recent Virginia Employment Commission workshop, four employees out of seven were fired from the hospital, not for being bad employees, or for not doing their job properly, but because they missed four days of work. I have repeatedly written Ed Howell about many of these issues but have never gotten a reply.

 I hope the Hook will continue to investigate the ongoing situation at this hospital. It is very disturbing to think, as UVA has mentioned on more than one occasion, that this hospital is being used as a "model" for the implementation of the higher education restructuring bill on the academic side of the University.

Jan Cornell, President
Staff Union at UVA
Communications Workers of America