Comprehensive Cancer Program vs. CDC - Oct. 16, 1992
Day before yesterday, the first of the WCCO radio shorts prepared by Mary Sumpmann was broadcast. It was audited by the CDC
staff. They loved the commercial except that the phone number to call was advertised not as the agreed-upon CDC number but
the number for the Univ. Cancer Program listed in the Yellow pages.
Yesterday Bill Sullivan and C.D. objected to Mary Sumpmann. She asserted that the calls should come through a central university
office. She had told us she had hired 8 R.N.s to monitor the phone lines and had prepared than with proper responses to all
questions likely to arise. Our protests that we had obtained an 800 number and a new number for local calls to the CDC to
assure that calls concerning the CDC should come directly to the CDC office without being filtered through the Comp Cancer
Program and our reasons for that decision appeared to fall on unhearing ears. Bill explained to her that when she read the
notice to him over the phone she had said nothing about the phone numbers to be broadcast except that the Univ. Comprehensive
Cancer Number would not be used. At this conversation, this was understood by Bill to mean that the CDC numbers would be broadcast.
We agreed to a meeting with Sharon Farce (Head of the U-ACCESS Program) the following morning.
In the meantime, Bill and Denies agreed that Dr. Najarian, Jim Coggins, and Dr. Kersey should be consulted. It became apparent
that both Dr. Najarian and Dr. Kersey were out of town, so we agreed to have Jim Coggins with us, and Dennis endeavored to
contact Dr. Najarian, catching him at his hotel this morning early in Vancouver, B.C. Dr. Najarian agreed that if the broadcasts
were citing numbers
other than ours, the broadcasts should be stopped.
This morning, Jim, Bill, and CD met Mary Sumpmann and Sharon Farsht in the U-ACCESS office. Once again Mary Sumpmann insisted
she had used the all-
inclusive Univ. Hospital and Clinic number. Mary Sumpmann assured us she had done everything in our best interests and according
to agreements with us. We insisted that the broadcasts be stopped at once and reported a series of calls made from CDC office
by staff members to the numbers broadcast, noting that some had been lost in the phone exchanges, some had been referred to
the Medical Clinic, and only 2 had been referred to the CDC. On reviewing the experience today with the office, only one new
patient was actually referred to the CDC through the broadcast. One call was then placed by Dr. Najarian's appointment
secretary, and the operator volunteered that the switchboard had been flooded with such calls since the broadcast. After this
meeting, Sullivan and Dennis found in the new Yellow Pages the heading University - Cancer, citing the number broadcast.