Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A 21st Century Whodunit?!?!

Last night, in response to this article I received this comment.

Due to some involvement in the ongoing lawsuit by Kevin against Emory, I am unable to reveal my name but was interested to see what was going on with the case. I never knew there was so much publicity surrounding the case and it was interesting to read about both sides for once. I believe in due justice but wanted to clarify a few things.1. Although I am unable to give details, Kevin's pattern of behavior should have led to his expulsion way before his senior year. This went beyond "simple" things as tardiness and even plagurism. Unfortunately for other Emory grads, there were other students displaying "unprofessional" behavior at the same time and they were treated the same. I agree the timing of his expulsion raises some eyebrows, but nothing that he "revealed" was a secret.

2. Speaking of which, Kevin loved to exaggerate the truth and was a great story teller. At no time at the VA was he left unsupervised. The events did happen, but it was residents (who are always there) that "saved" the patients. No one used an unsterile chest tube nor did he give life-saving blood. In fact, students can't even write orders at the VA due to their computer systems (which if any of you actually worked in that system would know immediately that nothing can be done without entering orders on the computer). Oh ya, forgot to mention that students don't work overnight, as the time frame in the blog indicates.

3. Grady is essentially our charity hospital but people don't realize that Emory and Morehouse have a dedicated staff just for Grady. True, some depts like psychiatry and dermatology cover all of the hospitals due to the low volume individually at Emory, VA, Crawford, and Grady, but then again they wouldn't have sick patients on their service and nor would he be on a service like that as a medical student. As for subpar care, I agree, but that is the function of not having any money and the patient population. It is in fact amazing what Grady can do with the resources available to them and Americans should be ashamed that we have to do this living in this country. But that is another topic and regardless of how you look at it, we will always have to cut corners at Grady in order to do what is right for the patient and have been doing so for years. Kevin was not a whistle blower; he just timed it perfectly to make him seem like one.

4. I am extremely disappointed in how Emory has dealt with the other cases involving professors, faculty members but I cannot comment on those as I do not know the details. Emory has made several bad judgments and I believe they'll be punished in the long run. It's disappointing though when someone like Kevin manipulates the media to look like a saint even when he has acknowledged to committing unprofessional behavior. Btw, is anyone actually reads the medical conduct code at Emory, it states that a student can be expelled for the "first" offense. It's sad that he was expelled after 4 years when in reality he should have after the 1st year, but overall he has destroyed the credibility of all of the wonderful doctors (well some aren't but that's life) and could result in even more people with no access to health care.

I personally don't care if Kevin wins or not, but consider if you would want someone like him to be your doctor?

There is a lot that needs to be said about this comment, so I will start at the beginning. Kevin Kuritzky is a former Emory University medical student that was expelled from medical school 41 days prior to graduation. He claims it was retaliation while the school claims it was behavioral reasons. Grady Hospital is in the middle of a desperate crisis both fiscal and otherwise that has occurred as a result of a complicated set of events that I detailed and summarized here. Kevin has become my source on some of the material that I have prepared on this matter, but not on all, and at this point not even close. In fact, my biggest source so to speak is Google.com. Unlike this ANONYMOUS poster, Kevin uses his name and he gives detailed and specific accounts. Furthermore, his accounts are verified not only by other sources but frankly from internet research.

Now, this ANONYMOUS poster claims that Kevin is lying and that Grady is not as bad as I am making it out to be. What is first most interesting is that I earlier received another ANONYMOUS comment in response to the same article that started like this...

A judge ruled in Emory's favor on this one (See mention below from a highly regarded education publication). The Atlanta community needs to stay focused on the larger issues of how to transform Grady so that it can become solvent. ALLEGED NEGLECT: A lawsuit filed by a former medical student at Emory University who alleged that it neglected patients at its two teaching hospitals was dismissed last month by a Georgia judge who ruled summarily for the university. The former student, Kevin D. Kuritzky, was dismissed from Emory's medical school 41 days before he was scheduled to graduate, in 2005.

Now, the problem for these two ANONYMOUS posters is that while they both attack Kevin they give divergent information. One ANONYMOUS commenter claims that they would be more specific if they weren't party to a lawsuit, and the other claims that Kevin can be marginalized because the law suit is over and Emory won. It is one or the other. (The details of the case might even bore a lawyer however I wrote about its exact disposition here.)

Furthermore, The Emory Wheel, the Emory University student newspaper wrote this,

A lawsuit filed against Emory by a former student was dismissed last week, affirming the University’s right to expel a student based on conduct violations.

Now, either this is very shotty reporting, this person didn't reveal the truth and allowed this story to be published, or this person is lying, or maybe all of the above.

Fortunately, through the wonders of modern technology, I have been able to identify the IP address that I am certain is the one used by the person that wrote this anonymous piece.

It is... The host is...c-71-56-116-54.hsd1.ga.comcast.net.

This IP originated from Atlanta, Georgia. This computer came on my blog four times starting at 8:48 PM Central Time and finishing at 9:39PM Central and even had a stop at 9:33 PM Central time at roughly the exact moment the comment was published. Now, since this is my whodunit, it is time for me to list my most likely suspects and give evidence why I think they might be guilty.

It might be this man. As head of Public Relations for Emory University, he is of course responsible for their image. Kuritzky's accusations are quite incendiary and it is in Emory's best interests to see Kuritzky marginalized. I doubt very much that trolling through blogs and writing anonymous comments would be part of his job description, especially from home which would appear is where this originated from, however it is possible that he felt it part of his duties. Much of the evidence against this man is what we would call circumstantial. He has been identified as the most frequent guest to my site. Other strange occurrences have been identified on the internet after he has visited my site. Finally, I have attempted to make contact with him by email and he has not responded and while this is pure conjecture, maybe this is his response.

It could also be this man. As head legal counsel for not only Emory University but the Emory Wheel specifically, it would be absurd and laughable if he were the culprit. After all, he would have had to know about the story published in the Wheel. The evidence against him is also circumstantial however there are some peculiarities that make him a suspect in my mind. First, his main role is head legal counsel for Emory University. I have gathered information that leads me to conclude that he has taken on an active role in the operations of the Emory Wheel that I believe is peculiar given his main duties. For instance, I believe that in many ways he is the unofficial de facto Head of H.R. for the Wheel. Second, I already pointed out that he announced that he is not only lead general counsel for Emory University but the Emory Wheel. Now, this seems redundant to me since it would be assumed that the lead general counsel of the school would be the ultimate lawyer for the newspaper, if necessary, however he actually announced it.

Furthermore, he has a long history with Kevin Kuritzky which I detail in the link, It could also be this man. He also has history with me. I recently pointed out something that he co wrote in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that is not only absurd but probably illegal. He has plenty of motivation to not only marginalize Kevin but this blog.

It could also be someone on the staff here. The reason they are all suspects is that I reached out to them recently in hopes of making them my allies on this story. Based on their work currently regarding this Grady mess, they have currently given me the impression that they are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the administration which they are entrusted in being a watch dog for. I pointed out one article in the Wheel that had errors, and now look at another one.

After a two-month recess, Grady’s board of directors has finally agreed to cede power over to a non-profit organization. Such a move follows the recommendations made to the hospital months ago by state politicians, area businesspeople and Emory itself and will allow the hospital to seek funding more easily from outside sources, not just Fulton and DeKalb counties.

But the changeover comes with a catch: The board will allow the new management to take charge only if the Georgia legislature and local business leaders pledge in writing to raise nearly half a billion dollars for Grady — $50 million of which would be due before the board changes power. The legislature will be required to pledge an additional $30 million annually to help keep the hospital up and running. Of particular note to Emory, which along with Morehouse supplies the doctors who work at Grady, the board also wants to freeze current staffing levels at the hospital.

More money for Grady isn’t a bad thing. With funding like that requested, the hospital could pay back its debts, including nearly $45 million in labor costs owed to Emory. Unfortunately, now is not the time for ultimatums from the hospital’s directors. State officials have made it clear they aren’t willing to be told what to do by the governing board of a hospital. If the board can’t reach an agreement with the legislature and other sources of funding, then they say there may be no restructuring, and Grady will be back to square one, struggling to stay afloat...

This article commended moves by the board at Grady. They called them baby steps on a long road to recovery. What is laughable, tragic, and absurd about the article is that not a week later, the JCAHO threatened to remove Grady's accreditation. This is only the second time in the entire history of JCAHO that it has come this far. The only other time was at King Drew Hospital and the chilling abuses there should give everyone nightmares. While we don't know the specifics, since the report has not been made public, we can assume that things at Grady are just as disastrous. In other words, commending baby steps for a hospital in this much turmoil is the height of journalistic irresponsibility. It could be that the student author is just not up to the job to find the truth in this matter or it could be something else. I don't know and that is why everyone at the Emory Wheel remains a suspect.

Finally, among the list of most possible suspects, there is Jonathon Leake. In the discovery phase of Kuritzky suit with Emory, it was revealed that Leake made several incendiary, threatening, as well as racist comments toward Kevin. Since his whereabouts are unknown to me, at least, the evidence against him ends here.

I know what some of you are thinking. This is rather flimsy evidence against everyone. That is true, and my purpose wasn't to present a strong case against anyone. My purpose was to get your attention. The IP address speaks for itself and someone out there can figure out how to identify the exact location and then we will have our culprit.

For an updated summary of the whole series of events that this particular piece is merely a small part of please go to this link.

To see the recommendations that I along with mostly my colleagues on this case have come up with for saving Grady Hospital please go here.

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