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By Anna Lothson
Rattling off a list of complaints, including unfit working conditions, poor management and a stressful atmosphere, a group of former PCC Community Wellness Center employees held a press conference April 25 outside the Oak Park facility at 14 Lake St.
"It's profit over patients," Sandra Driver, a former employee said. "We want to be treated fair. If employees are not being treated fairly, how are patients being treated fairly?"
"The atmosphere at PCC was toxic," she said. "I was in mental pain and anguish because of the harassment by the supervisor at the clinic."
Three other employees spoke about unsafe working conditions, including mold and mildew in the office, and relayed that they were all unjustly disciplined for "misconduct" issues.
"PCC Community Wellness Center's charitable mission was to improve access to health care for its most vulnerable residents," Angela Taylor, a former employee at the clinic said. "Unfortunately, that mission has been betrayed due to cost-cutting measures, staff firings, and nepotism."
The group hopes to have a meeting with the PCC Board of Directors regarding their concerns and seeks an immediate investigation into the allegations. Doug Scofield, spokesperson for PCC, said Thursday that the clinic received a letter from the group, which would go under review before it was determined how the organization would move forward.
"We are extremely concerned about access and accountability at the PCC clinic. The allegations by multiple former employees must be taken seriously and investigated by the board," said Theresa Davis, a member of the South Austin Coalition, an advocacy group located on the West Side of Chicago.
In response to Wednesday's press conference, PCC issued the following statement to Wednesday Journal: "At PCC Community Wellness Center, we work very hard to provide high-quality, affordable health care and support services to medically underserved families and individuals in the communities we serve. PCC served more than 40,000 patients in need of comprehensive primary care and support services during calendar year 2011 alone. Currently, PCC employs 280 staff members who provide a high level of patient care and customer service among our nine health centers. We are very proud of the work they do.
"While PCC does not publicly discuss any personnel matters regarding individual employees, the views that have been expressed by a few individuals are simply not based on accurate information. They in no way reflect the way PCC Community Wellness Center treats our employees or the work we do in serving our community."
As for specific allegations, Scofield said the board must review the complaints before making comments beyond the written statement.