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Centura’s silence causing community distrust

Tom Koch
Breckenridge

I have been reading the articles and letters regarding Bristlecone Hospice and Centura Home Health with great interest and increasing distrust and frustration.

I have been a long-term patient with Bristlecone, since 1996, due to a chronic disease that requires monthly attention. For the last several months, we were aware of an impending acquisition by Centura.However, at no time did we understand all of the parts and people involved.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, Noreen Galaba, RN, made her final visit to our home. We began asking questions about Centura, the whos, whens and wheres.

All of our questions were answered with “I don’t know” or a nonverbal expression clearly communicating “no comment.” At that point, Noreen apologized profusely for being so vague and evasive but explained that there was a threat of legal action if she spoke about the acquisition.

It was clear she was afraid and the sadness on her face was heartbreaking. Noreen has been my nurse for the last ten years and to see her hard work and passion quashed through tactics of fear and intimidation is nothing short of bullying and is completely unacceptable. Not only has she always been compassionate, caring, flexible and the consummate professional, but also she has become a dear friend to Kathy and me.

On March 2, a message was left at our home from Melody Wright, the new VP of Bristlecone, sharing her phone number with us in the event we needed anything, as their phones were not operable at that time.

To date, we have received no other communication, information, introduction or acknowledgment from Centura as to whether or not they will continue my care. While my needs are not terminal or short-term in nature, I feel like I have been kicked to the curb and will have to look for other options in the community.

Because of the unknowns, Noreen has kindly offered to continue my care on her own until such time that we have a provider in place. Additionally, having access to Bristlecone’s services afforded us lower out-of-pocket expenses and a savings to our insurance carrier as well as the flexibility of treatment that could be done in our home.

What does Centura hope to accomplish by issuing a gag order aimed at those who know the community intimately? These staff members, volunteers, and board members would be a wonderful and invaluable resource to foster a positive change while introducing a company that is unfamiliar with our community to help them more easily transition into the area.

Instead, an environment of hostility and resentment has been created. It seems that Centura has gone to a lot of trouble to burn its bridges with a community that has long supported, recognized, and embraced Bristlecone and the exceptional care they have provided.

Trust and confidence can be regained, but what is Centura willing to do to get it back?


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