Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Letter to Illinois Attorney General---January 15, 2004
January 15, 2004
We believe there has been a pattern of possible fraudulence on the part of OSF St. Francis Medical Center/Children's Hospital of Illinois (SFMC/CHOI) regarding donations made to Haitian Hearts.
Haitian Hearts is an organization established by Dr. John Carroll in 1995 to bring children from Haiti to the United States, primarily SFMC/CHOI, for heart surgery. In the past nine years, Haitian Hearts has brought 106 children to the U.S. Until October 2002, Haitian Hearts was part of CHOI (i.e. Haitian Hearts was not a legally separate organization). On October 1, 2002, Haitian Hearts was granted tax exempt status by the IRS and became a legally separate entity. All monies raised by Haitian Hearts volunteers prior to October 2002 went directly to CHOI to pay for medical expenses. Through auctions, raffies, bake sales, and employee and community member contributions, Haitian Hearts raised more than $1.1 million for CHOI. In 2002 alone, through an auction, the sale of a house, and individual contributions, Haitian Hearts raised $445,000 for CHOI. Before 2002, other expenses, including medical care and testing in Haiti, and housing, food and other living expenses for the children while they stayed in Central Illinois, were covered directly out of the pockets of Haitian Hearts' volunteers. In 2002-2003, Rotary Club North of Peoria, donated funds to help defray these expenses.
In December 2002, SFMC/CHOI contacted the U.S. consulate in Port au Prince, Haiti and asked them to stop granting Dr. Carroll medical visas for children to come to Peoria for heart surgery, stating that they would no longer pay for services. In January 2003, SFMC/CHOI officially suspended the program, stating to the press initially that Haitian Hearts owed them $500,000. After Haitian Hearts challenged that figure, hospital officials lowered the amount owed to $400,000 and then almost $400,000.
EVIDENCE OF PROBLEM
In the last couple of years, SFMC/CHOI has taken actions that have caused Haitian Hearts to question if the hospital has broken the law. Most recently, Haitian Hearts volunteers and then an attorney contacted the hospital to request that any donations and employee contributions made since October 1,2002 be turned over to Haitian Hearts. A SFMC attorney required verification that Haitian Hearts is a 501(c)(3) organization. This verification was provided to them. On December 19, 2003, they sent a check to an attorney for $8343.80. Despite repeated requests, CHOI officials have refused to turn over donor names and amounts for these funds so that Haitian Hearts can verify that the correct amount of money was released and thank the individuals for their contributions. We have received no donor lists since December 2002. There is presently no mechanism in place to ensure that Haitian Hearts receives future contributions that are sent to CHOI. We are concerned that SFMC/CHOI has not turned over all of the monies donated to Haitian Hearts and will continue this behavior in the future.
Prior to having a separate organization, CHOI acted in a predatory manner toward funds that Rotary Club North in Peoria donated for transportation and other non-hospital expenses. In 2002 the Rotary Club pledged $12,500 to offset these other non-hospital expenses. This was the first time an organization offered to donate funds to go for non-medical expenses. Despite knowing what this money was earmarked for, CHOI officials on more than once occasion attempted to get these funds by calling the Rotary president and adamantly requesting that he send these funds to CHO!.
While SFMC/CHOI has claimed that Haitian Hearts owed them money, they have on only a few occasions provided us with itemized patient bills. In more than one of these cases, there were overcharges on the bill. Haitian Hearts was billed for artificial heart valves that had been donated by another company. The bills were inflated approximately 40,000 dollars.
In the early years of Haitian Hearts there was implicit trust between the organization and CHO!. Haitian Hearts freely turned over raised monies to CHOI without requesting receipts. We feel this trust has been taken advantage of and that funds that were donated to Haitian Hearts via CHOI were not earmarked as such. In 1999 and 2000 the Caterpillar Foundation donated $10,000 to Haitian Hearts. In April 2001, Caterpillar Foundation made a $30,000 contribution to OSF according to the Caterpillar Foundation secretary. On May 1, 2001, OSF Foundation deposited only 500 dollars from Caterpillar into the CHOI/Haitian Hearts fund. What happened with the remaining 9,500 dollars? Henry Holling, Director of Caterpillar Foundation actually called me (John Carroll) and told me that Caterpillar would still be interested in supporting Haitian Hearts after I was fired at OSF. So it seems unlikely that before I was fired in December, 2001, Caterpillar would have only donated 500 dollars to Haitian Hearts when then had been so generous in the past.
An OSF physician was donating his overtime hours to Haitian Hearts and his very generous donations never showed up on the computer sheet in OSF Foundation for Haitian Hearts. Where did his money go? When I asked him, he was afraid to pursue the answer.
We believe that SFMC/CHOI has withheld information and possibly monies that rightfully belong to Haitian Hearts. We request an investigation by the attorney general's office to review the contribution and donor records of CHOI. If discrepancies indicating fraudulence or other illegal activity are found, we ask for appropriate charges to be filed.
- Introduction--Peoria's Medical Mafia
- Keith's Letter
- Conversations with Keith Steffen
- Keith Steffen and the Apostolic Christian Communit...
- Conversations with George
- Conflict of Interest
- OSF-AMT Relationship
- Emergency Room Overcrowding
- OSF Emergency Room Patient Satsifaction
- Fear at OSF
- Conversation with Sister Canisia
- Conversations in Church
- Sister Judith Ann
- Conversations With Chris
- Ethics Committee at OSF
- Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Heal...
- Patricia Gibson and Monsignor Rohlfs
- Picketing OSF
- Bishop Jenky Haitian Hearts Meeting---February, 20...
- Bishop Jenky's Threat
- Catholic Diocese Abandons Haitian Hearts
- Tom Carroll's Letter to Bishop Jenky---September, ...
- Bishop Jenky Rejects Catholic Tribunal Court
- Bishop Jenky's Response to Tribunal---November 17,...
- Paul Kramer--Executive Director Children's Hospita...
- OSF Cuts Haitian Hearts Funding--July, 2002
- Slow Down Surgery--Part I
- Slow Down Surgery--Part II
- Letter Regarding Delay of Surgery---November, 2002...
- Perfume, Pets, and Pediatrics
- Linda Arnold--OSF Foundation
- Letter to Illinois Attorney General---January 15, ...
- Willie's Pacemaker
- Jackson is Dying
- Joe Piccione---Ethics vs. Practice
- Diane's Letter to Joe Piccione and Patricia Gibson...
- Pleading OSF for Jackson's Life
- Letter to Sister, Keith, and Paul re: Jackson Jean...
- Jackson Jean-Baptiste Forum Article
- Jackson's Letter to Sister Judith Ann
- Washing Jackson's Feet
- Jackson Jean-Baptiste's Obituary
- Children's Hospital of Illinois Advisory Board
- Jackson Jean-Baptiste and Keith Steffen
- Jackson Shouldn't Have Died
- Emergency Medical Systems Failure in Peoria
- Peoria Journal Star Articles
- Firehouse Forum
- Cardiac Arrest
- Basic Drugs
- More Fear
- Trust in Physicians
- Questions for George, Rick, and Andrew
- On the Take
- Open Letter to Peoria Medical Society---January 6,...
- Questions About Matrix Consulting Group
- The Matrix Report
- Should Peoria Fire Department Sell Its Only Amubla...
- Let Peoria Fire Department Operate its Ambulance
- 19 Minutes Is Too Long
- Ambulance Monopoly Unhealthy for City
- Peoria City Council--August 9, 2005
- Peoria's Greed
- Peoria City Council---February 7, 2006
- ▼ March (64)