SRHS answers questions about letting go beloved doctor

SRHS answers questions about letting go beloved doctor
The hospital says what's next is making sure all of Millette's patients are getting the care and attention they need. (Photo source: WLOX)

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Things got pretty heated during a Singing River Health System board meeting.

People filled the board room in orange shirts, showing support for neurologist Dr. Terry Millette.

Up until last month he worked for SRHS, specializing in Multiple Sclerosis treatment.

"At first after 21 years all I had was a phone number to call," said Millette's former patient Marlene Tompkins.

She spoke out at the meeting about the way the hospital handled informing patients about the decision to let him go.

"All of us had the same questions about our treatment: Where do we go now, and what doctors do we see," Tompkins said.

But instead of shutting the outbursts down, SRHS CEO Kevin Holland engaged in what patients say was a much needed dialogue.

"I think he was a little overwhelmed also that we were in such need," said Tompkins.

In that conversation, a lot of things were brought to light.

"What we did, basically, was separate from him as an employee. But there's nothing that precludes him from being able to set up practice  in the community," said Holland.

Holland told patients the decision to let the beloved doctor go came after two peer reviews suggested doing so after concerns were brought up about how Millette diagnosed multiple sclerosis.

"You never handle something like this exactly perfectly because there's not a textbook for this stuff, but I think we handled it the best we could," Holland said.

Holland added the hospital will pay for re-evaluations for the patients, as well as transportation. Patients say they're happy to finally get some answers.

The hospital says what's next is making sure all of Millette's patients are getting the care and attention they need.

SRHS urges patients who still need assistance to contact their hotline at 228-809 2000.

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