Letter To Clients – July 13, 2007

July 13, 2007

To my dear clients,

Many of you already know that on Friday, July 6th my world was turned upside down. It has been a devastating experience. For my clients that have been hurt by this I am heartsick and would never have knowingly put anyone in this situation.

On the 6th, after my last appointment, Susan Rugg, who owns Birth and Family Place, handed me a letter from her attorney telling me to move out immediately and anything I couldn’t take with me would be delivered to my house by moving van the next morning. And that is exactly what happened. There wasn’t any advance notice. My clients with appointments on Monday, July 9th, even received reminder calls from the receptionist that Friday. A week before I had just had my 171st beautiful Utah baby with Susan as the nurse, never knowing this lovely birth was to be my last birth at Birth and Family Place. I was completely blindsided. There wasn’t an incident, event or anything out of the norm to alert me.

My clients were equally surprised when they received a letter from Birth and Family Place stating I had been “terminated” from the birth center and began calling me to find out what happened. In January 2007, I began exploring options after learning that certified nurse midwife malpractice insurance premiums would triple instead of doubling in price as usual. Starting my own birth center seemed the best choice for me as facility fees could help offset rising malpractice costs.

The business structure at the birth center is set up so that I own my women’s healthcare practice and rent an office at the birth center from Susan Rugg. Becky McInnis CNM, one of the other midwives at the birth center, has her own practice and rents an office from Susan, as well as being employed by Susan as the clinical director. We have separate businesses but are impacted by decisions each other makes so I was upfront and honest and let Susan and Becky know my plans and time table.

I have tried very hard not to leave Birth and Family Place in a lurch. Birth and Family Place had already rented an office to a new midwife who would be full-time by summer and I did not look at property near the birth center to avoid competition. My goal is to allow more women access to a birth center birth, not less. At Susan’s wishes, I was moving my office September 1st and had found a different suite in the same building complex as the birth center so I would still be close for births. The building I am under contract for will not be available until January, with remodeling and licensing taking several more months. I had always planned on attending births at the birth center until my new facility in Murray is ready and was NEVER told that I should stop taking new clients, phase out my births or in anyway led to believe that I could not continue to use the birth center for births.

My five ladies due in July and one fabulous woman who was eight days overdue, whom I was scheduled to meet with the following morning, were treated worse than I was. They received a phone call from Becky McInnis CNM, indicating that they needed to birth with her if they wanted a birth center birth or go elsewhere. Their focus should have been on their wonderful upcoming births and not this ugliness. I am so sorry for all my pregnant women who have been placed in this situation.

I still don’t understand why my association with the birth center was handled in this manner. Even as a renter I should have had more than 2 minutes notice. My July rent check was accepted Monday, July 2nd and returned to me that afternoon when I received the letter from Susan’s lawyer, the same week that I was finishing my loan requirements for the new birth center. I considered myself an asset to the birth center and a good practitioner. Susan and Becky were my friends and colleagues. All they had to do was talk to me and I would have made arrangements to phase out my births or stop taking new clients. Unfortunately, I can’t get any answers now because I can only speak to their attorney.

I have moved my office to a little, one-room suite in the same building complex as Birth and Family Place, which I had intended to move into September 1st. It’s on the first floor of the Medical Village with easiest access from the parking lot on the west side of the building. Suite 182 will be my temporary location until I move into the Murray facility in January. Because of privacy requirements I can’t have a receptionist (please be patient with me) and not having a waiting room will be a challenge. I’m not entirely sure how it will work…maybe it will be like traffic construction, unpleasant at the time but worth it in the end. I’m looking at on-line scheduling for appointments but that’s still low on my priority list. High on my list is finding out where I can birth and I’m researching home births and/or hospital privileges. Both are still very up in the air and physically/emotionally I feel like I have been hit by a semi-truck. In fact that might have been kinder than what happened. I’m still looking at legal recourse as well.

At the moment I have very little to offer anyone although I can still prescribe medications, order tests, do labs and provide non-birthing care. I am so sorry this happened this way. It was so unnecessary!!! Our little birthing community is so small that we should be supportive of each other. I will certainly understand if any of you need to transfer care and for many this is probably your best option. If you should elect to birth at Birth and Family Place I won’t consider you disloyal so please make the decision that is best for you. Let me know and I will be happy to fax your records or refer you to another provider.

I apologize for the delay in sending this letter out but even simple things, such as getting a new phone number, have been complicated when setting up an office on such short notice. I will send out another letter when I move my office to the new building in January. In the meantime, my website, www.rebeccawilliamscnm.com (which is under construction at the moment) will probably be the best place to receive updated information. As always, if you have questions or concerns please call or e-mail me.


Rebecca Williams CNM, MSN
Holladay Women’s HealthCare
2180 E 4500 S Suite 182
Holladay, UT 84117
Phone and Fax: (801) 274-1009

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