Name slipup opens old wounds

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 7:00pm

One first name exchanged for another on a donation letter sent out by the Block island Health Services Board of Directors has opened some old wounds.

On the letter seeking donations, dated July 2019, the members of the Board of Directors are listed on the left-hand side of the letterhead. One name that should have read Board member Susan Stover was instead listed as Mary Stover, the wife of former Medical Center Director Monty Stover, whose termination seven years ago created a divisive and acrimonious atmosphere that took years to quiet.

In the immediate timeframe after Monty Stover’s termination, Mary Stover was a frequent critic of the BIHS Board. (Many from that time no longer serve on it.)

The slipup on the donation letter resulted in an immediate and angry response from Mary Stover, which resulted in a letter of apology from the BIHS that was posted on the a local chat platform. The apology and the initial donation letter were signed by BIHS Membership Committee Chair Nancy Ruddle.

“I am flabbergasted to learn today from many people that a letter from from the BIHS BOD soliciting membership and donations and included my name as on the BOD. To say that I am absolutely shocked and dismayed by this inclusion in this letter is beyond an understatement. I am also dismayed to learn BOD names missing from the list, notably Dr. Clark.” (Mary Stover had originally thought that emerita member Mary Donnelly had also been left off the letter.) “These combined inclusions, exclusions, are not only irresponsible, but are utter lies distributed to the general public. I am demanding a retraction letter distributed to the exact mailing list this letter was sent to where you correct my inclusion and correct the [Board of Directors] not included in your first letter.”

“It is hard to believe this is not willful, but incompetency on a large scale for such an important document. I want proof this has been done. I am also demanding you send out on the Block Island Bulletin Board now a notice of retraction about my name...”

“I also demand you email this same retraction to the same mailing list you sent the BIHS newsletter... I also demand a printed retraction of the inclusion of my name and the exclusion of Dr. Clark and whoever else you excluded from the BOD to be printed in The Block Island Times. I will be contacting the editor next to assume he had received this retraction for publication next week. I am asking you to immediately respond to this email before I take further action.”

Ruddle first posted an apology on a local social media platform and then to The Block Island Times, stating, “I realize to my profound embarrassment that I made mistake in the list of the members of the Block Island Health Services Board in a membership solicitation letter that was recently sent. I apologize to anyone that was offended and attach the corrected letter.” That letter included Susan Stover and Dr. Clark as members of the Board of Directors.

“Even though there have been changes at the Medical Center, our strong team is committed to continuing the tradition of compassionate care delivered with the highest level of professionalism,” the letter states. “We’re proud of the additional services that continue to flourish at the center, including physical therapy and women’s health. We look forward to building on the strong foundation Dr. Clark has established.”