Thursday, January 27, 2011

OSF May Close Pharmacy that Dispenses Contraceptives

See this article in today's Peoria Journal Star.

A quick historical look at OSF’s contraceptive policy:

In the mid 90’s OSF Corporate in Peoria hired Catholic bioethicist Joe Piccione.

Mr. Piccione was hired by OSF to create a contraceptive policy that would allow OSF physicians to write prescriptions for oral contraceptives for patients. OSF was very concerned about losing money if their own OSF physicians could not write prescriptions for oral contraceptives.

So Mr. Piccione along with other OSF leaders met with The Catholic Diocese of Peoria and Bishop John Myers and “created” a new policy.

This policy allows OSF physicians to write oral contraceptives from an OSF office. But during the few moments the OSF physician is writing the prescription, he is not considered an OSF employee. And the second after the prescription is written, the physician is immediately reinstated as an OSF employee.

This sounds laughable and would be if it were not true. This policy still exists today for OSF physicians throughout the entire OSF Health Care System.

Mr. Piccione was quoted in the Peoria Journal Star in the mid-90’s that this anti-Catholic policy would “get our hands dirty”.

Why OSF wants to follow “ethical and religious directives” now in Galesburg is anyone’s guess.

GateHouse News Service
Posted Jan 26, 2011 @ 08:48 AM
Last update Jan 26, 2011 @ 08:08 PM


The pharmacy operated by Hy-Vee at OSF Galesburg Clinic will almost certainly close in March because of an argument over the sale of contraceptives.

If the lease is terminated OSF would not be allowed to bring a new pharmacy into the clinic for the next two years because of an existing agreement. A notice of termination has been given to Hy-Vee.

OSF recently took control of the clinic, which includes a pharmacy run by Hy-Vee. Jon McKee, a spokesman for OSF, said Hy-Vee's corporate office had not responded to efforts to negotiate a new agreement. McKee said OSF would like to see the Hy-Vee pharmacy remain in its current location.

However, employees at the pharmacy have been told it will close March 4. Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer said Hy-Vee had an "ethical obligation" to fill prescriptions for contraceptives.

OSF is operated under Catholic ethical directives, which would not permit the sale of the oral contraceptives available at the pharmacy.

The health care group, which is owned by the Peoria-based Sisters of The Third Order of St. Francis, took control of the Galesburg Clinic on Oct. 31, renaming the facility OSF Galesburg Clinic.

Customers of the Galesburg Clinic Pharmacy contacted GateHouse News Service to express their discontent about the likely closure of the business.

Comer said all of the staff working at the Hy-Vee pharmacy at the clinic would be offered new posts.

She said Hy-Vee had had discussions with OSF about the pharmacy and that Hy-Vee was not prepared to back down from its position that it should be allowed to supply contraceptives to its customers.

"That's not acceptable to us as a condition," she said.

Comer said the lease for the pharmacy likely will be terminated in March. She said there had been no attempt by OSF to renew the lease agreement.

Please see this article written by my brother Tom and me in 2008.

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