Monday, May 16, 2005


Orlando, FL - In an explosive development, Florida Hospital, an Adventist Health System hospital, appears to have attempted to "bribe and intimidate" an uninsured family after family members met with staff members early last week of the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee to give a personal account about abuses by the so-called "not-for-profit" hospital.

Consejo de Latinos Unidos, a non-profit organization that aids and educates uninsured Hispanics and others, will outline the damning behavior against the Vega family during a news conference tomorrow, Monday May 16, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. EDT at the Hampton Inn Orlando North Universal Boulevard Area, 5621 Windhover Drive (Near Kirkman and Vineland), Orlando.

"If this were to have happened in a court of law, it would simply be called witness tampering," said K.B. Forbes, Executive Director of the Consejo. "Florida Hospital did nothing to help this uninsured family and now they are scrambling to cover their tracks with a specious offer that includes a fully-paid ocean cruise for family members."

In the spring of 2004, Rodney Vega, then 5-years-old, needed a brain tumor removed. Florida Hospital appears to have refused to provide help after a physician in Miami told Rodney's mother that her son had two weeks to live. She contacted the Consejo, which arranged for Rodney's immediate treatment. What is astonishing about their plight is that the Vegas are practicing Adventists, and Rodney's father is a pastor for the church. Florida Hospital claims to be an "Adventist" entity, yet did nothing to help the family.

Last week, Rodney's mother gave the Oversight Subcommittee authorization to look at her son's medical records. On Friday morning, officials from Florida Hospital and a chaplain associated with the hospital contacted the Vegas; the same day highlighted the story.


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