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PAMF, Sutter Health face suit over allegedly racist workplace

Original post made on Jul 14, 2021

An eye surgeon who was once the highest-ranking Black physician in a leadership role at Palo Alto Medical Foundation has filed a lawsuit alleging PAMF and Sutter Health maintained a racially toxic workplace.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 9:39 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2021 at 12:25 pm

felix is a registered user.

Thank you for reporting on this.
I’ve gone to PAMF for decades. I can’t ever remember seeing a black doctor. Perhaps this is why.
Please keep updating this story. We need to know how PAMF will respond and the outcome.
There should not be a non-disclosure agreement. That would only perpetuate and increase mistrust in the community.
Healing and racism are antithetical. PAMF - put your house in order.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Ismail Muhammad
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2021 at 1:33 pm

Ismail Muhammad is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Ismail Muhammad
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm

Ismail Muhammad is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 14, 2021 at 2:29 pm

We Told You So! is a registered user.

Systemic Racism runs the Gamut.
I was told decades ago about "Preconceived Notions" from out of the Medical Educated Doctors. What would exclude an Educated profession from being excluded? Nothing.
This worries Me because what would stop a Physician from passing said thoughts onto the Patient Community? Deciding on who shall live and who should Die?
One day a Doctor decides that he must rid the Earth of People with "Red Hair" or People with Big Noses? Or Worse, contributing to His/Her Favorite Campaign.
This has me thinking more regarding "Kaiser". Not very many Black Doctors in that Medical Community either?
I've too have notice as "Resident 1" stated. Cheap Labor hired by Kaiser is evident. They do as they are told and not to the benefit of the Patient.
All of this in saving money. And that if they have to pay HIGH Salaries. Then NOT to a Black Doctor.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

This article targets Sutter Health. The SU Hospital/Health Servics pays more, has more influnce, and I suspect that if you looked at the SU Health System you would see that is the more popular place to work. You have a lot of health providers in this location and adjoining RWC. Also the Veterans Hospital. There are a lot of places to work that pay more.
Side note - when I went to get a blood test the people working in the clinic drawing blood had a clip saying the company they worked for. It bothered me that they did not have direct employees that were doing that work. Also during the Covid scheduling period they made appointments then cancelled them.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 14, 2021 at 9:20 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I think there's something very off about this story. I am a Caucasian woman. Years ago, my primary doctor at PAMF was Marland Chancellor, a wonderful young doctor who happens to be black. After he moved elsewhere, I was reassigned to a white woman. After she moved on to hospice I was assigned to a different white woman who was so earnestly committed to humankind that I think she would have quit PAMF if it was a racist institution. She moved on to the concierge service and I was reassigned to an Asian woman. I see two other physicians who are also non-white women. Ditto my spouse's roster of doctors. I do not think any of these physicians would tolerate PAMF if it is racially toxic.


Posted by Lara
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 15, 2021 at 12:16 am

Lara is a registered user.

I used to work for Sutter Health and this story is true. Sutter Health does not care for it’s employees or it’s patients. The whites continue to get promoted for the same work minorities do. Why? Racist! Sutter Health is nothing but a business practice. Look at all the lawsuits Sutter Health is facing. Terrible company to work for. That’s why I left.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 15, 2021 at 11:33 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

PAMF was a great place before it became part of the Sutter Corporate entity. Why that happened may be a more problematical topic of health care in America. Health care is a political issue. Your isurance may be HMO or PPO which limits who you can go to for health care. During Covid people were segregated by their health providor.
That was insane. Now the UC system is being challenged by the CA government- the Weiner - concerning what type of services it can provide. And is further challenging medical centers run by Catholic organizations. Politics has woven itself into this whole topic. The fact there is a law suit here it further demonstration that Law suits and the money generated by that whole activity which is keeping all of the young new lawyers employed is out of control.


Posted by Open Range
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2021 at 11:48 am

Open Range is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Cherjo
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2021 at 3:42 pm

Cherjo is a registered user.

Sutter Health has ruined PAMF. I have been a patient since 1980 and have experienced the many changes that have resulted in friends who were Doctors there and 3 of my personal physicians leave because of Sutter Health’s ever changing directives. They now pressure Doctors to treat patients given only 15 minutes for most scheduled appointments. That is not sufficient time to treat the needs of many patients. How is it possible for a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist to effectively treat their patients with who present with mild to severe issues in such a short time frame? [Portion removed.] This month my Thyroid medication refill was denied because I have not been to the clinic for a ‘standard blood test’ after many calls explaining why I have not come in. I may never go back.


Posted by A anonymous
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 20, 2021 at 8:16 am

A anonymous is a registered user.

I've witnessed this type of toxic behavior from pamf leadership all the way down to the mid-level managers who are instructed on how to manage "uncooperative" employees (anyone who asks questions about new policies). Any resistance is met with the suggestion that you seek help which turns out to mean psychological help; this starts the process of getting pushed out of pamf even if you're Caucasian


Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 20, 2021 at 9:20 am

Anneke is a registered user.

When we moved from Massachusetts to Palo Alto in 1988, PAMF in Palo Alto became our medical provider. Medical care definitely changed when Sutter bought PAMF. Revenue instead of care became the goal!

Nine years ago, I started a serious medical journey that involved many doctors including two Afro-American doctors. These two Afro-American doctors were wonderful. They truly went out of their way to care for me, unlike some of the others who just prescribed expensive tests and strong opioids, including Fentanyl. Seven years ago I decided to leave PAMF because I did not receive the medical care I needed.

Based on recent Yelp ratings of PAMF, link provided below, I would not be surprised if there is discrimination going on. We need more Afro-American doctors and executives at PAMF.

Web Link


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