By Cheryl Fiandaca

BOSTON (CBS) – Newlyweds Alicia and John Kravitz couldn’t have been happier. The couple just celebrated her 29th birthday and they’re having a baby.

Alicia’s doctor wanted to be sure the baby was healthy and thriving so, she ordered an ultrasound for her at Premier Ultrasound Services in West Yarmouth. To set up the test, an employee left Alicia this voicemail message. “This call is for Alicia it’s Premier Diagnostics. Working on …trying to get you scheduled for an ultrasound. So I’ll look forward to your call, thanks,” the woman said.

But that wasn’t the end of the call. According to Alicia, the woman didn’t disconnect the call. “I heard more about the message that wasn’t intended to be there,” she told the I-Team.

alicia2 I Team Gets Action For Pregnant Woman After Health Care Provider’s Disparaging Message

John and Alicia Kravitz (WBZ-TV)

In fact, the woman continued speaking with an open line saying: “Why the (expletive) are these people getting pregnant? Autistic, ADHD, prosthetic eye- getting pregnant,” the woman could be heard saying to a co-worker.

Alicia told us she felt like she was being judged and said, “Essentially her telling me I shouldn’t be having children with my diagnoses. How can somebody say that about somebody they never met before? How can you make that kind of a judgement about what kind of person they are without ever meeting them?” she said.

Alicia immediately called her husband, John, who left work and went to Premier Ultrasound Services to ask the employee about the message. But, John said the woman refused to give her name or let him speak with a supervisor. Instead, the same woman left Alicia a second voicemail message that said: “Oh hi Alicia, it’s Premier Diagnostics. Your husband was just in. I apologize for the voicemail earlier I was just commenting to a co-worker about the chart which we do many times. We would love to have you come in, hopefully tomorrow. So if you could give me a call back, thank you.”

alicia I Team Gets Action For Pregnant Woman After Health Care Provider’s Disparaging Message

Alicia Kravitz (WBZ-TV)

Alicia was shocked, telling WBZ, “The so-called apology message to cover her own butt to try to make it so I’d come in and forget it ever happened. That’s never going happen.”

Alicia contacted the I-Team and after we contacted Premier Ultrasound Services, the company’s CEO took immediate action. He fired the employee who left the messages and apologized to Alicia and her family. In a letter to employees said:

Premier expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of job performance and personal conduct. Any employee unable or unwilling to adhere to these standards should find other employment.

Alicia says this should have never happened. “I think people should be more aware of how they’re treating people whether they intended to or not they need to know that talking about people that way is never OK,” she said.

Alicia did have the test at another Premier Ultrasound Services location on the Cape, where she says she was treated with respect, and learned that she and the baby are doing just fine.

Premier Ultrasound’s Full Statement To Employees:

To all employees:

I am writing to inform you that an employee in our West Yarmouth office behaved inappropriately when leaving a message for a patient, having made disparaging comments that were recorded on the patient’s voice mail. Understandably, the patient was upset, and the situation was made worse because the employee allegedly refused to escalate the patient’s concerns to management, as the patient requested. Immediately upon learning of this unprofessional behavior, I took steps to identify the employee. That person was terminated earlier today.

I learned of the situation only because the family shared its grievance with a local television station, which contacted me for comment.

This behavior has no place at Premier Ultrasound Services. It unfairly and unfortunately contradicts the courtesy, professionalism, sensitivity and respect that our employees demonstrate every day. It was unjust, first, to the patient and her family, and also to all of you, the employee’s colleagues, who behave professionally and courteously.

I have since discovered who the patient is, and have spoken with her and her family. They have my deepest apologies, and my guarantee that such appalling behavior will not occur again.

I remind everyone on the Premier team of the language in our Employee Handbook:

“Ethical and Legal Business Practices

Premier expects the highest standard of ethical conduct and fair dealing from each employee, officer, director, volunteer and all others associated with Premier. Our reputation is a valuable asset, and we must continually earn the trust, confidence and respect of our suppliers, our members, our customers and our community.

This policy provides general guidance on the ethical principles that we all must follow, but no guideline can anticipate all situations. You should also be guided by basic honesty and good judgment, and be sensitive to others’ perceptions and interpretations.

If you have any questions about this policy, consult your supervisor or manager.

You are expected to promptly disclose to the management of Premier anything that may violate this policy. We will not tolerate retaliation or retribution against anyone who brings violations to management’s attention.”

Premier expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of job performance and personal conduct. Any employee unable or unwilling to adhere to these standards should find other employment.

Further, please know that any patient or customer who has a need or concern and wants to speak with management is welcome to connect directly with me or Bryon at any time.

Our employees work hard to reflect the values and behaviors that our patients and customers deserve and have relied upon for 22 years. While I’m saddened to learn of the appalling behavior of one employee, I am proud of our Premier team members who go above and beyond every day.

Thank you for all you do, and for being an important part of the Premier team.

Comments (4)
  1. Salvatore Deangelo says:

    we would love for you to come in tomorrow… oh you know it! you’re gonna be there right?

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