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Dear Friends of King’s Daughters:

It is hard for me to believe that I have been in my new role for almost 90 days. During this time I’ve had the opportunity to meet or socialize with many of you. I want to thank you for your support and appreciate you sharing your thoughts and ideas with me. I truly believe my job is to serve King’s Daughters and King’s Daughters is here to serve the community.

I’ve made a commitment to you and to our teams to be more transparent with communications. Many of you have said you are tired of “corporate speak.” Therefore, I’m writing my own communications. It has been great to announce the upcoming return of Valet Services and the hiring of additional bed-side nurses. However, we have a long way to go and it is not always going to be good news. I feel like we are in this together so you deserve to know the truth.

As you know, two lawsuits were filed yesterday against King’s Daughters, the Kentucky Heart Institute, and Dr. Richard Paulus, representing about 500 people. They were filed by Louisville and Texas-based law firms. We believe the large number of plaintiffs is for a “shock factor” to get attention. The claims are vague and cover a wide range of tests and procedures including X-rays, EKGs and pacemakers. While we never want our patients to be unhappy with their care, from my perspective we leave the lawsuits for the lawyers and ask our team to concentrate on providing the best patient care possible, one patient at a time.

It is frustrating to see the news articles. When I look at the heart disease and program statistics for our community, I don’t see numbers - I see people. People like my parents, who were both affected by heart disease. My father is living today because of the care he received at King’s Daughters. I’m proud of the program we have built and grateful we don’t have to leave our community for high quality care.

Outside news agencies, like Bloomberg, criticize our program because it is large. They presume we only provide care for a few counties. In reality, we are the healthcare provider for a very large geographic region. Our service area is the size of New Jersey, and for many years, we were the only full-service cardiac hospital in eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. We have the data to prove we are among the best in the country, because of our people. I am privileged to be part of an amazing team.

It is very hard to see and hear negative things expressed about King’s Daughters. We are not a building or a sterile, faceless corporation – we are physicians, team members and volunteers who work tirelessly to deliver exceptional care. A team here to serve 24/7, 365 days a year. There are no snow days here!

When I accepted the CEO position, I was fully aware of the financial and legal issues. I expect the next 90 days to very busy from the legal standpoint, but I have every confidence we will be able to get past the rough spots. We depend on our community and our community depends on King’s Daughters. I hope we all agree King’s Daughters is an amazing community resource worth protecting. I plan to do just that.

I will keep you posted as new things develop. And although I try to get out as much as possible, you are out in the community every day. I need you to let me know what questions are out there so I can get you answers. I want to hear from you. My email is kristie@kdmc.kdhs.us.

Respectfully,

Kristie Whitlatch
President/CEO

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Comments

David Higgins
# David Higgins
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 2:58 PM
Let me say from the bottom of my heart that if it weren't for Dr. Paulus and the staff at Kings Daughter I'm sure I wouldn't be here! I have received several stints from Dr. Paulus, I have the before and after xrays for most of them and I can tell you it was necessary for him to put them in! Its a shame that a few people has halted a talented physician
and someone who was interested it the community! Good Luck to you Mrs. Whitlatch.
sam caines
# sam caines
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 3:13 PM
kristie we have all the confidence in the world in you & what you will do for kings-daughters med center,i beleive in your ability to save our hospital,we hope you got your position soon enough,it was going down the tubes,more power to you
Becky Wadkins
# Becky Wadkins
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 3:36 PM
Kristie, I just want to say they couldn't have picked a better person to be CEO of KDMC. I worked at KDMC for approx a total of 29 yrs. and couldn't have been more proud to work anywhere. KDMC Was always good to me and my family. I'd still be there if I hadn't had to go on Disability. As you know my husband has had long term heart problems, including open heart 4 times, several angioplasties , stents and heart caths. In my opinion he wouldn't be alive if it weren't for Dr. Richard Paulus. He has always had excellent care at KDMC, and I've always been and still am proud to say I worked there ! I want to take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck in your endeavors at KDMC!
Jeff Green
# Jeff Green
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:33 PM
I am a proud KDMC employee. I work in Open Heart Sugery and I know we have the best people and Doctors around. Its the only place I would take my family. We do provide the best care around. Kristie your doing a great Job. Thanks
Rebecca Woodburn
# Rebecca Woodburn
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:59 PM
I am very proud to have worked in the Cardiac Cath Lab along side of Dr Paulus. His commitment to his patients was far and above anything I have ever witnessed. There was never a single time in which I scrubbed in with him that I ever doubted the necessity of the procedure. Our community was very blessed to have had him as one of our own!
Kristie, I am so proud of you and the job you are doing. It is so nice to have "one of our own" at the helm.
Wm. McAllister
# Wm. McAllister
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 5:41 PM
I have been hospitalized several times in the last five years. Every one was at KDMC. One time, I was dying; thanks to Dr. Gainer and the KDMC Staff, I was able to return home.
The Nurses are absolutely Precious, I cannot say enough good about them! KDMC may not be quite perfect, but I wouldn't want to see it gone.
Joseph Harris
# Joseph Harris
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:16 PM
Dr. Paulus is not my doctor, but he saved my Dad once. Dr. Velury has cared for me the past five years and I would trust NO one else.
Fran Prince
# Fran Prince
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:11 PM
Dear Mrs. Kristie--Thank you so much for your nice letter to the community. Welcome to your new job, and we wish you the very best. Paul and I LOVE and appreciate KDMC, and he. also would not be alive w/o the excellent care provided by your hospital and its wonderful and caring physicians.as well as the other employees Really, OUR hospital, for it belongs to all who have been helped and serves as you mentioned, a huge area .
very sincerely, Fran, for Paul and I.
Rod Lemaster
# Rod Lemaster
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:12 PM
I have a very personal story to share with everyone concerning Dr. Paulus. I lost my wife Laura of 39 years back in Oct., she had fought a long long battle with coronary artery disease, an inoperable heart valve and a very bad blood disorder.I can tell you that without Dr. Paulus and the grace of God I would have lost her at least 10 years ago. Dr. Paulus never gave up on her. She had so many near death experiences and he always mananged to get her through it, she called him her guardian angel. I could never thank him enough for giving me the extra years with her. Even when the new government standards changed how doctors can treat their patients he always managed to give her the care she needed. When he retired he made sure she was left in good hands and checked on her frequently. When he found out she had passed he called me to offer his condolences and cried just as if he had lost a member of his family. God Bless you Dr.Paulus and Thank you for the extra years you gave me with my wife!! Also a big Thanks to all of the staff of KDMC that cared for Laura for so many years!!! God Bless you all!!
Amy Williams
# Amy Williams
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 9:27 PM
Well I have a different opinion of the heart care at this hospital I have had to have 2 corrective lung surgeries because of your fine ( NOT) dr. Ross he went in to do an ablasion and closed off all 4 pulmonary viens and causes an embelism so I hope that these lawyers do investigate and these dr held accountable for destroying lives. I had 2 children in high school and they had to make the decisions for my life did I mention that one of them has special needs
karen killen
# karen killen
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 11:01 PM
a little over 10 years ago Dr. Fried did an open heart surgery on my dad I had every confidence in him he is a great Dr. took time to check everything out and explain to us what was going on. In July of this year my dad required an open hear again plus a valve replacement my mom was a little unsure, she wanted Dr Fried again because he trusted him but he wasn't available at the time. So this is when we meet his next surgeon Dr Bronstein. I have nothing but Good things to say about Dr. Bronstein such a good and dedicated Dr. he came and talked one on one to my mother when she was scared and upset he was able to calm her fears. Didn't stop there he gave us his cell # which I ended up calling a couple of times at like 2 and 3 AM he stayed with me on phone till we could figure out what was happening and gave me instructions on what to check and what to do. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend either of these Drs very highly me and my family are so very thankful for them and the job they do! as well as the other staff for the job they do. I Wish you luck sounds like you want whats best for our people, Im sure you will do a great job too!!
Tim
# Tim
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 11:43 PM
Just say I am a Dr Paulus fan....keep up good work!
Erica Gallion
# Erica Gallion
Thursday, March 06, 2014 3:22 AM
I most certainly wouldn't be here today without the care I received at Kings Daughters and Dr Paulus.
helen
# helen
Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:46 AM
My husband was there for 52 days in 06 he almost died from pancreatitis and gain green, the doctors Thought he was going to die, he had the very best of care, I thank God first of all ,and the team of doctors he had were the very best we could have ever asked for,we could not be more thankful.We wish the very best to all the staff and doctors at kings daughters,as your journey continues to help others, May God bless your efforts. Charles and helen.
James
# James
Thursday, March 06, 2014 9:30 AM
I am very sad about the negative coverage KDMC is receiving because of the recent lawsuits. I for one know thousands of e people have been helped at King's Daughters. My parents have been gone for several years, however they both spent a lot of time in King's Daughters and they always received excellent care. I have a family member today who would not be alive if it had not been for answered prayer and the fast response of Dr. Paulis and the KDMC Cardiologist team. Again I am sorry that such a good hospital can be given so much negaitve coverage because innocent professionals are suffering.
Steve Blythe
# Steve Blythe
Friday, March 07, 2014 1:03 AM
I can only thank everyone at King's Daughters. I only spent a few days in the late '60's in y'all's care, but you have faithfully served my friends and family, since the hospital's doors opened. You've comforted some of those same people in their final days. With a severe asthmatic and type 1 diabetic in my immediate family, I spent a good portion of my youth in King's Daughters' waiting room. I was always fascinated by the Gift Shop and fondly remember how kind those ladies were. It takes immense courage to walk in and take charge in times of trouble. Thank you for your courage. It translates to continued care for my family and friends that remain in the Tri-State area and having heart problems for the last 20 years, I'm glad you are there to help me, should a problem arises when I visit my friends and family. Again, thank you, the staff and volunteers of King's Daughters Hospital.
Steve Blythe
# Steve Blythe
Friday, March 07, 2014 1:07 AM
I can only thank everyone at King's Daughters. I only spent a few days in the late '60's in y'all's care, but you have faithfully served my friends and family, since the hospital's doors opened. You've comforted some of those same people in their final days. With a severe asthmatic and type 1 diabetic in my immediate family, I spent a good portion of my youth in King's Daughters' waiting room. I was always fascinated by the Gift Shop and fondly remember how kind those ladies were. It takes immense courage to walk in and take charge in times of trouble. Thank you for your courage. It translates to continued care for my family and friends that remain in the Tri-State area and having heart problems for the last 20 years, I'm glad you are there to help me, should a problem arises when I visit my friends and family. Again, thank you, the staff and volunteers of King's Daughters Hospital.
Shaun Runyon
# Shaun Runyon
Monday, March 10, 2014 3:54 PM
I had the wonderful opportunity to work for KDMC from 2006-2008, in the transcription department, before getting laid off. I have to say that I had never worked with such a wonderful group of people, not only in the medical records department, but throughout the entire campus. Sadly, when the first round of layoffs hit everyone was so on edge worried if they were going to have a job, and it was almost a relief to me to have been let go on the second round of layoffs so I didn't have to worry anymore. I live in New Hampshire now, but still have family members who work for KDMC, and they have had nothing but good things to say about the new CEO, and after reading this letter, I feel that things are only going to get better for the KDMC community, even though I'm sure it will take some time.
Jeanette Bradford
# Jeanette Bradford
Saturday, April 12, 2014 7:06 PM
It was discovered in early October 2013 that I had a large ascending aortic aneurism. Approx. 7.6cm. Normally an aneurism such as this would have been repaired at around 5cm. Mine was a silent aneurism and was discovered while I was having test run for another health issue. I was sent to Dr. Fried. He ordered extensive tests including a heart cath by Dr. Price. On October 28th Doctors Fried and Machannaford performed Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement surgery. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate my doctors and all the staff at KDMC that cared for me during that time. I never thought twice about going to KDMC for this procedure. I was so sad to see Dr. Mac leave KDMC. If it had not been for his expertise, I would have had to undergo valve replacement also. He was able to save the valve. Thank you KDMC.

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