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Rob Mackenzie: Letter to the Community
September 25, 2009


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

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