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UPDATE: Dr. Kelt in Med Center, Dr. Desire calls foul

Just as Supervisor Gary Gerth thought the Medical Center agreements were signed, sealed and delivered, came an email to the Reporter from Dr. Anthonette Desire, the physician who had initially negotiated an agreement for office space there  in the summer of 2014.

When that lease expired, a new arrangement was never negotiated, Mr. Gerth said, but interest was expressed in having Dr. Nathanael Desire, Dr. Anthonette’s husband, take over the practice in the building.

Dr. Anthonette Desire has charged that in providing the back office space to Dr. Peter Kelt, Mr. Gerth had leased Dr. Nathanael Desire’s office without informing him.

She called Mr. Gerth’s action a “pure bully tactic,” working under a false pretense of trying to work together.

“Dr. [Nathanael] Desire has an actual medical practice. He’s not just a renter,” Dr. Anthonette Desire said in an email response to the story that appears in the Dec. 12 Reporter.

State regulations governing medical practices require a minimum 30-day notice to patients from a physician ending his practice. That gives patients time to find a new doctor and have their records transferred. Failure to give patients that notice can result in a physician being charged with abandoning patients.

“Dr. Desire has no intention of leaving voluntarily,” his wife said.

She noted her husband loves Shelter Island and wants to find a way to continue to serve his patients. And she rejected the possibility of her husband  meeting with the supervisor, suggesting that Mr. Gerth has locked her husband out of “behind-the-scenes deals.”

Despite the email and request for a written statement from the supervisor, Mr. Gerth said he was trying to speak with Dr. Nathanael Desire to remedy the situation.

He reached out to him and then his wife today to say he wants to “bring mutual resolution to the participants involved.”

Her response was to tell him that the situation remains that the Desires were left out of what was happening with others and Dr. Nathanael Desire was being “squeezed” out of his space.

“If that’s advocating for mutual resolution, then, no thank you,” she said.

She charged the supervisor with lulling Dr. Nathanael Desire into a false sense of trust.

“I have advised him to not have any further dealing with you,” Dr. Anthonette Desire said in a second email to the supervisor.

From the outset of the effort to bring Stony Brook University Hospital to manage the Medical Center, Mr. Gerth said he understood staffing would be determined by Stony Brook officials. But he never imagined he would have to be in the middle of  negotiations on staffing.

Stony Brook officials told him they know and like Dr. Nathanael Desire,and were open to having him as a part of their staffing. It was with that understanding that town officials proceeded with an agreement with Dr. Kelt.

This remains a developing story and updates will appear on the Reporter website as they occur.

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