Patients lament departure of popular physician
By Debra Moore
The news came as a surprise to many, including Plumas News. During the public comment portion of the Oct. 14 Plumas District Hospital board meeting, citizens addressed the departure of their physician, Dr. Ali Hunt.
Quincy resident Christine Peters read a letter from Kendrah Fredrickson, one of Dr. Hunt’s patients, which included in part:
“As the pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Quincy and as an active commissioner on the Plumas County Behavioral Health Commission, I have had the opportunity to walk alongside many people in this community who had Dr. Ali Hunt as their primary care physician … Every one of these clients is now grieving the loss of Dr. Hunt as their physician.
“Dr. Ali Hunt cares about her clients’ bodies, minds and souls. It is very rare to find a doctor who takes the whole person into consideration. The physical body is not separate from the mental or spiritual parts of our humanity and all aspects should be taken into consideration for proper treatment. Dr. Ali Hunt is on the leading-edge in providing such holistic care.”
Another resident, Diane Geller, read a statement for Peggy Hiss. “I am so glad there is a meeting on Ali and I hope they listen,” Geller read in part. “She is an exceptional doctor that the hospital would be a fool to let go.”
Lori Davis asked if the board members had read all of the emails. Davis said that she wanted to reiterate what they said, that Dr. Hunt “saved my kid’s life.” She said, “I don’t know what the problem is, but I hope you can resolve it … She has an amazing way to heal wounded people. I would love to see her come back.”
Board President Bill Wickman said that he had received emails and phone calls; and that several people had approached him regarding the situation.
Board member Valerie Flanigan said that the hospital notified all of Dr. Hunt’s patients, to which Peters responded that she didn’t receive a notification.
During the meeting, Chief Executive Officer JoDee Read said, “I echo everything that everyone of you just said. I was one of her patients. We are in discussions about this.”
“The hope is that she will be back,” Wickman said.
Because this is a personnel issue, little information can be shared. The morning after the meeting, Read said, “I’m working very closely with the medical staff and the board for the benefit of the community. We’re working with Dr. Hunt’s patients to provide them quality care during this transition time.”
Plumas News reached out to Dr. Hunt and she issued the following statement: “PDH and I remain committed to serving the healthcare needs of this community. We remain in regular communication about what this will look like moving forward. I’m humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community.”
Additionally, patients have asked about Dr. Ben Hunt, Ali Hunt’s husband, who is a surgeon at PDH. CEO Read said she was unaware of any change in plans for Dr. Ben Hunt. Plumas News also reached out to him for comment.