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June 11, 2013
Featured Letter: In regards to medical staffing concerns
To the Editor:
I would like to respond to concerns raised in last week’s paper regarding Shelter Island Family Practice staffing for the winter months. The office will be open Monday and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays the office will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
The office is never closed for lunch. If the patient volume dictates it, the office hours will be adjusted to meet the need. In addition, if a need arises, I am available to provide house calls service for those that are house bound and also those whom the current office hours are not compatible.
Medical procedures such as simple suturing and splinting will be provided as appropriate. This will save unnecessary emergency department visits and the inherent extreme cost associated with those visits. Those without health insurance or with a large out of pocket deductible should appreciate those savings.
With splinting, the patient will usually follow up with their orthopedist as necessary. Many of our patients have my cell phone number in case there is a problem when the office is closed. When last year’s storm occurred and the ferries could not run, I was called out from my home to help with a Shelter Island ambulance call. The system worked well (the tree limb that hit my car causing $1,800 worth of damage not so well).
In summer, we will be open with the usual schedule, which includes Saturdays.
Dr. Kerry Murphy will be working in the Shelter Island office in addition to the Southold office. Dr. Murphy originally was a nurse in New York City. She then went back to school for pre-med and then on to a prestigious medical school in the United States. Dr. Murphy is also a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. She has completed a deployment to Afghanistan and is very highly regarded by her current patients and colleagues alike. She will bring a wealth of experience to the office.
Currently she is scheduled for Shelter Island on Tuesdays and is across in Southold too. Many of our current patients have already been seen by her in Southold. She is easily available for any medical problem or question at anytime. I know that with Dr. Murphy’s extensive background we will be able to provide for the medical needs of our patients.
Regarding any concerns about getting sick on a Wednesday, our office and that of our predecessors Drs. Marshall have never been open on Wednesday. To date, it has not been a problem that I am aware of. Many medical offices are closed on Wednesdays. The issue regarding a patient having a scheduled blood test being rescheduled was a unique set of circumstances, for which I will take responsibility. It was a Monday that I was scheduled to be in the office. Dr. Murphy unexpectedly and with short notice was called to duty for troops that were transiting to Afghanistan through the Westhampton air base. I had to cover for her in another office.
Dr. Kolsin could not come in to cover Shelter Island due to his religious holiday. The office was staffed with a nurse and a receptionist but I did not convey that blood work could be done without a practitioner in the office. Instead patients were rescheduled and, in this case, there was confusion about the appointment date.
I apologized, but fully understand the inconvenience this caused.
John T. Reilly, RPA-C, MSPA