The Boston Globe story on June 11, 2017 provides an incomplete portrayal of the care that thousands of Massachusetts residents have received over the past 33 years at the five Arbour Health System hospitals and their satellite facilities. Our staff and employees are committed to providing care to individuals in acute distress and need. The Boston Globe article does a great disservice to that commitment.
Letter to the Editor — The Doctors’ Perspective
An abridged version of this Letter to the Editor was published in the Globe on June 22nd.
“We specialize in providing care to individuals who are vulnerable and face complex behavioral health issues … And while even one unintended outcome is one too many, the overwhelming majority of patients are treated without incident.”
Group Director, Massachusetts Behavioral Health Division
Arbour Health System
Although we provided important context to the Globe within the bounds of protecting patient confidentiality, they chose not to report that context. Our facilities treat a broad range of patients, including many who are difficult to place based upon their medical disorders, special needs, and/or impulsive behavior. Caring for and managing a community of patients with such complex needs presents challenges. Unfortunately, like all behavioral health care facilities that treat these types of patients, untoward events do occasionally occur. However, we take great pride in serving as a valuable resource to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by making every effort to accommodate these patients from emergency rooms and other referral sources, when many other facilities across the state do not. And while even one unintended outcome is one too many, the overwhelming majority of our patients are treated without incident.
“For the first time … at six different hospitals over a span of six years, attending clinical staff actually listened to our son … kudos for thoughtful care. Thank you for all you do to improve mental health delivery systems … in Massachusetts.”
From the parent of a patient
The Globe‘s portrayal ignores the positive treatment experiences of hundreds of thousands of patients whose lives have been positively affected by the care received at Arbour Health System.