During the past few days I have endured a myriad of emotions. I am writing to you because I am a physician and, as a physician, I believe in speaking the truth. Many of you may have seen my press release from the other day detailing the progress we have made restoring the services that you, the denizens of the Cross Timbers deserve. You may have sensed my ebullience when sharing with you the good news that the cries of newborns will grace our hospital once again. You may also have been perplexed when that post was pulled from The Flash Facebook page the same evening.
Hours after the press release was posted, I was informed by Chris Leu, President of Texas Health Stephenville, that our OBGYN candidate, Dr. Wengroff, would, in fact, not be coming to Stephenville. We would not, as we had all been assured, be opening our obstetrical unit on September first. No reason was given for this abrupt change of the state of affairs but I was assured that Texas Health remains committed to the OB program, but for an undisclosed reason, Dr. Wengroff would not be able to act as the catalyst we desperately need to get the ball rolling.
My heart hurts for the families. It hurts for the patients I have cared for over most of the last year who were anxiously anticipating their deliveries in familiar environs, surrounded by familiar and trusted faces. It hurts for my colleagues who have endured this year of hiatus with patient hope that it would soon end. It hurts for the nurses who were displaced from their jobs, moved about North Texas, sacrificed even more time away from their families and were about to end this purgatory of migrant employment. It hurts for the new staff we hired who left good jobs elsewhere to relocate in support of this program.
To be fair, Texas Health is not planning to disband the staff we have worked so hard to assemble. Texas Health is working to remedy this wrong, desperately trying to cobble together a plan that will safely reopen our unit. I am assured that this tragedy of timing is not due to any mis-step by Texas Health Physicians Group, nor Texas Health Resources, nor our local hospital, Texas Health Stephenville. I understand that the absence of a rationale leaves us all to speculate about what happened but I implore you, to choose, as I am choosing, to believe the best. I know, confidently, Texas Health remains committed to work toward safely reopening our obstetrical service line. I still expect them to keep their promise to you, Erath. No one knows the time in which that effort will come to fruition and I, personally am devastated that time is not now.
In the meantime, I am remaining here, patiently watching, providing for the patients under my care as best I can. We at Stephenville Medical and Surgical Clinic are completely and totally devoted to you, Erath County, as we have been for over 90 years. We will continue to rely on our neighbors to stand in the gap, as we have these last months, and will continue to find you the best care for whatever health issues arise.
With hope that soon the women of Erath can come back home,
Benjamin Marcum, MD