September 25, 2009
Dear Ithaca Community,
We are devastated by this
week’s tragedy in our community. Our sincere condolences go to the Butler
family, everyone who knew Carol and know Ian, or who have been touched by this
tragedy. Truly, our employees, our physicians, and I agonize with you all.
We understand our
community’s need for facts, for answers to hard questions, for safety, and for
justice in the face of senseless tragedy. We understand our obligation to
provide safe care to those who seek help in time of need. And we also
understand every patient’s right to privacy in the care they receive.
We do however need to
correct the public record in one respect. While we cannot discuss specific
details of the patient’s treatment because of privacy law, we have been
authorized to say that the patient, against our advice, decided to leave before
his evaluation at Cayuga Medical Center was complete. We very much regret that
he made that choice.
We are committed to
providing the most appropriate care to everyone who comes to Cayuga Medical
Center. We understand our responsibilities to our community, and have an
internal process in place to examine and improve every aspect of the care we
provide. You have my commitment that this process is thorough and effective.
The Butlers have been
friends, neighbors, or associates to a great many. So too are the employees and
physicians of Cayuga Medical Center who come to work every day putting their
heart and soul into doing their best to meet our mission to our community.
Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to the Butlers, and thanks
also to those who have reached out to our staff, in this heart-wrenching time.
Rob Mackenzie, MD
President / CEO