LYNCHBURG, Va. - A local doctor who has been practicing in the Hill City for almost four decades has been suspended and many in the community are upset.
"I can remember when Dr. Oldham put his hands on my knees and said we're going to get through this together. It's going to be OK,” Leecy Fink, Dr. Oldham’s patient, said.
Fink was diagnosed with stage four cancer five years ago. Today, she and Tiffany McGann are both cancer free, and they say that's thanks to their oncologist, Dr. Dwight Oldham.
“To not have him. To bounce ideas off of, and not have him to call on the next time I need an oncologist it's a little scary. Because I do credit him with saving my life,” Fink said.
Tuesday afternoon, Centra’s CEO sent an email to all employees at the hospitals saying, “We became aware of a pattern of behavior by Dr. Oldham that resulted in a work environment for our team members that was both hostile and unsafe. When given the opportunity, Dr. Oldham did not deny the allegations made against him.”
Centra permanently suspended the doctor. 10 News spoke with the doctor.
"I regard that letter isn't viable in the sense that I've never done anything to compromise patient safety. He knows it and he knows that statement is knowingly false. I've never made any physical threats to anybody and I've never made any direct threats to anybody. And I think they are trying to silence me,” Oldham said.
Dr. Oldham says he's voiced his concerns about the direction of the cancer program in Lynchburg.
Yesterday he sent a letter to the board. He would not tell me what he wrote until Centra responds.
In our question to the allegations, Centra told 10 News, "This is not about the level of care he has provided, and we have no knowledge that any harm or bad outcomes came as a result of his behaviors."
A petition online has formed in support of the doctor.
“He will go in your treatment room, sit with you, and talk to you. So he's always there,” Tiffany McGann, Dr. Oldham’s patient, said.
Dr. Oldham says he's made plans to retire, but wants his patients to know, "I can reassure them that I'm going to be OK, and I hope that they're going to be OK,” Oldham said.
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