LETTER: Reader complains about treatment in area hospital

by Aug 23, 2018OPINIONS


Editor’s Note – The author of this editorial letter has stated that the Cherokee Indian Hospital is not the hospital referred to in his letter. Cherokee people are often referred out to hospitals in this region.

All of us who rely upon the local news as a monitor have heard and borne witness to the fault lines in our great nation. Core values, common decency, and social mores have been set spinning. The causes -multitudinous and complex – demonstrate divisions not seen since the Civil War.

Citizens are out of sync with one another – a gross absence of social consensus. The nation and communities are undergoing trail, if not tribulation. A while before the sexual harassment allegation epidemic instancing another fracture in our American solidarity began becoming daily news, I, a male patient, experienced sexual harassment by a female employee at a regional hospital in a small town in the western North Carolina mountains.

What was yelled at me and the actions following, without any provocation constituted; assault, premeditated discrimination, infliction of intentional pain and suffering, and sexual harassment by this hospital’s employee on a patient.

At the top of her lungs, in a waiting room full of patients, she screamed at me, “You are a male sexist chauvinist pig”.

Within one-minute, hospital security was compelling me to depart. The party was deaf to my physical suffering and assumed that I was responsible as patient where the power lies with the employee. Now, these were “fighting words”, not only heard in bars, but in a hospital to a patient! Odds are one in 50 million. But, at a small subsidiary of a nationally top-ranked North Carolina health system in a western North Carolina mountain town-utterly unbelievable!

Upon review by hospital CEO and subsidiary unit, after initial misrepresentation, it was determined that this employee called me, before a host of waiting patients, a “male sexist chauvinist pig”. Required to immediately depart, I felt physical suffering, slandered, humiliated, and in a state of shock and profound disheartenment. Needless to say,  my attempts to obtain an apology were ignored to the top of the leadership of the hospital – the chancellor of the 17th top ranked health system in the nation. My purpose to the public is not to grieve before it but cite an example of how terribly lax we are as a society, as a culture, as a people, and as a country. Fragmented, fractured, and in chaos, I hope and pray that we can mend our ways before the patterns in motion overwhelm us.


Paul Blank