Letter: Patton: I will not give up on my patients in WB
Op-Ed · November 04, 2009

Many in the community have already learned that I am “no longer at the clinic,” as they are told when they call to schedule an appointment with me at the West Branch Family Practice Clinic, or when clinic staff call them to cancel previously scheduled appointments.

I would like the community to understand what has occurred. I was informed at the end of the clinic day last Wednesday (10/21/2009) that my employment contract with Mercy Services was being terminated “without cause” and that I was to pack my belongings and leave the clinic immediately.

I was shocked. I was also devastated to be made to leave my patients without warning or the opportunity to provide for their on-going care or a chance to say good-bye. It was also pointed out to me by a friend that some patients would be concerned that something had happened to me, knowing that it was totally out of character for me to stop providing care abruptly and without notice or personal communication.

Although it took a few days to get my bearings, it became clear to me surprisingly quickly that I would simply continue to provide care to my patients. Since Mercy’s decision to terminate my contract was “without cause,” I am free to do so. There are practical issues to sort through, but I hope to be available in West Branch soon.

I will advertise my availability as soon as I know the particulars and, in the meantime, if you wish to be in communication with me you should feel free to contact me at

I care deeply about my work as a primary care provider and about my patients and the community of West Branch.

The privilege of a patient’s trust is a great honor and I am humbled by it. I intend never to treat such trust with the carelessness I perceive in the present situation over which I have had no control. I look forward to resuming a healthcare practice in West Branch on my own terms in the near future.


Emily D. Patton


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