Former Petersburg Medical Center Business Officer Manager Ramona Thompson read a letter into the record during the regular meeting of the PMC Hospital Board Thursday evening to state that she would need future contact by PMC to her to be made in writing for legal purposes.
“Any contact needs to be made in writing and by U.S Postal Mail,” Thompson stated. “I don't mind if you email in order to expedite matters and this is necessary, because you cannot be trusted.”
Thompson was terminated by PMC May 23, only a few minutes before the board meeting began and has since accused PMC of several actions including violating the Whistleblower Protection Act; Medicare discrepancies, as well as billing errors.
At this time, Thompson says she only wants to be able to get home.
“You brought me here for a job,” Thompson stated. “Now I am stranded here, 3,500 miles from home.”
According to Thompson, she accepted this position with the commitment that she would be here until she retired. Thompson began work Oct. 15, 2012 and was informed Oct. 17 that the business office would be outsourced.
“Your treatment of me has endangered my life,” she stated. “PMC is responsible for what happens to me until I get safely home.”
Thompson has been compiling estimates of the cost to get her back to Montana and the cost will be $18,961.
“The $10,000 you so sympathetically offered to assist with my relocation back home, because you brought me here, is inadequate and will not get me back home,” Thompson said. “You have, not only, terminated me, but now you are trying to have my unemployment denied.”
Thompson stated that she is diabetic and has to take two different types of medication and with the loss of unemployment, insurance as well as her job, she cannot afford this any longer.
“The people of Petersburg are good people and they need to know the type of suffering you are causing me,” Thompson stated. “Your evil vindictiveness is endangering my very life because of my medical condition.”
Petersburg Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Liz Woodyard responded to accusations made by Thompson.
“On May 23, 2013, PMC lawfully terminated former business office manager Ramona Thompson,” Woodyard stated. “We did so with no knowledge that Ms. Thompson intended to make a report making false and inflammatory accusations to the hospital board that evening.”
According to Woodyard, Thompson has decided to make a dispute between employer and employee public.
“With the threat of litigation imminent,” Woodyard stated. “We cannot comment specifically on the circumstances surrounding Ms. Thompson's dismissal.”
Woodyard continues to assure the community that the hospital is not facing millions of dollars in fines and penalties and that the business office is adequately and completely staffed with internal and external resources.
“The billing and refund errors that occurred during Ms. Thompson's tenure, at Ms. Thompson's direction has since been rectified,” Woodyard stated. “PMC sincerely regrets that these events have caused some to lose confidence. We are proud of our hospital, our medical providers and our administrative staff and we look forward to continuing to serve the needs of the community and will address the issues raised by Ms. Thompson's allegations through the appropriate channels.”