LIMA — After practicing in the area for more than 25 years, a popular cancer doctor is no longer working at St. Rita’s Medical Center and has filed a lawsuit against it.
Dr. Henry Gerad filed a complaint for breach of contract against St. Rita’s Professional Services, LLC. in December.
“I want you to know that I am heart broken regarding the sudden change of your medical care,” reads an ad from Gerad, which printed in Monday’s The Lima News and was addressed to his former patients. “I was abruptly dismissed from St. Rita’s Professional Service Corporation due to a contract dispute.”
Beth Keehn, spokesperson for St. Rita’s, confirmed that Gerad is no longer with St. Rita’s.
“At this time it’s an open employment matter and a personnel matter,” she said. Keehn refused to comment further.
When reached for comment, Gerad said he would speak with The Lima News on Wednesday.
In a letter to The Lima News, Pam Wade of Delphos, expressed that Gerad is the “best oncologist in Lima.”
“Dr. Gerad has kept me alive for 20 years and how can someone ever thank a doctor for something like that?” Wade wrote. “I could always count on him for comfort and hope … I can only hope that St. Rita’s will realize their error in judgment in severing ties with this extraordinary physician and, somehow, get him to return to the patients who love and depend upon him.”
Gerad had a contract with St. Rita’s, which began on Jan. 1, 2012 and was set to end in 2016, according to court documents about the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Gerad is alleging that “On March 4, 2014, midway through the contract’s ninth quarter, Defendant Practice made its first ‘adjustment’ to Plaintiff’s base compensation — slashing it by 55.75 percent to cover an alleged deficit for the first eight quarters.”
In a response, St. Rita’s denied the allegation, except to “admit that on or about March 4, 2014, St. Rita’s Professional Services, LLC. adjusted Plaintiff’s compensation downward by 55.75 percent to render it consistent with Plaintiff’s production levels in accordance with the parties’ Physician Employment Agreement.”
The lawsuit contains several complaints from Gerad about St. Rita’s.
The other Lima hospital, Lima Memorial Health Service, said Gerad is not in its employ.