Renown Pediatric Oncologist Resigns - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Renown Pediatric Oncologist Resigns

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A year ago, at age 2, little Louie was diagnosed with cancer. But his parents soon got some good news about his treatment. "When he was diagnosed the hospital said we had an option. We could go to UC Davis or Stanford or Oakland Children's or we could stay there with Renown and get the treatment in the clinic that they had just opened up," says Coco Gutierrez.

Back in June of 2012, I introduced you to Dr. Victoria Castaneda. She was the first pediatric hematologist/oncologist ever to call Renown a permanent home. Back then, Renown told me the children's hospital was a major priority of the hospital. It has the equipment to handle treating and curing children with cancer. But it needed the lead physician to run the program. Their choice? Dr. Castaneda.

But just last month, families learned, Dr. Castaneda has resigned. "She called me personally and let me know she would be resigning from her position at the clinic and it was pretty devastating news," says Gutierrez.

I called Dr. Castaneda and she told me she was forced to resign. She says Renown decided to terminate her, but offered her the chance to resign. She took it. She says they gave her no reason for terminating her even though she had 5 months left on her contract.

I asked Renown for an on air interview, but only received this statement, saying in part:

We recognize that this is an extremely difficult situation for the patients and are working with Dr. Castaneda to help each family find the right transition of care to other providers. There are both in and out-of-town options and families are choosing what is best in their individual situations.

At this point, Dr. Castaneda doesn't have a job. She's returning to Tennessee to be closer to family. Many of her patients will be leaving the area as well to get treatment.  This includes Louie's family who will now travel to UC Davis for the next two-and-a-half years for treatment.   "Going through so many emotions and just walking in a fog again like rehearing my son's diagnosis all over again."

Written By Wendy Damonte
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