As some of you may have heard, Dr. Betz is no longer at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. He can now be reached at:
The Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, with offices at:
3100 Princeton Pike, Bldg. 1
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (near Princeton)
609-912-1500 or 800-372-6001
and with another location (beginning this spring) at:
800A Fifth Avenue @ 61st Street
New York, New York 10065
Janet Cerrone, who has worked with Dr. Betz for 15 years (and who can now be reached at email@example.com in addition to firstname.lastname@example.org) is also now at this location. Dr. Darryl Antonacci (who has practiced alongside Dr. Betz at Shriners in the past, including performing VBS in its early years – and who treats both children and adults) is also at The Institute.
As I know there are folks who will wonder, this was NOT their decision to leave Shriners. Dr. Betz has devoted 30 years of his life to helping children at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. But working for a large corporation myself, I am well aware that politics usually play a role in these things, as it did in this case. In fact, leaving Shriners was so against Dr. Betz’s philosophy that one of the first things he did was try to ensure that patients could see him for consultations at his new practice regardless of insurance or ability to pay.
There are also indications that Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia - while still of course, treating spinal deformities such as scoliosis – may be shifting its emphasis more towards other non-spine orthopedic conditions. In addition to parting ways with Dr. Betz and Janet (two leaders in the field), the new Chief of Staff is not a spinal surgeon, but rather specializes in upper extremities. These factors, coupled with other events, indicate a possible move into a practice that may no longer focus so heavily on the spine as it has in the past.
While I still believe very strongly in the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children, I would be lying if I said I was not a bit disappointed in them and their administration right now based on these recent events that have unfolded and also how they unfolded. One reason I am posting this is because parents have contacted me stating that they felt they were misled. They were told that Dr. Betz was retiring and that other doctor(s) would be taking over for him, rather than being told the truth, that the hospital was parting ways with him and that he would now be practicing elsewhere. Perhaps this practice is not uncommon in the business world, but parents were very upset nonetheless -- and IMHO, it is not in keeping with ‘putting the patient first’ something that I can honestly say I have NEVER seen Dr. Betz neglect to do in over a decade. Even throughout this entire ordeal, he has conducted himself like the class act that he is - and I know that he, along with Janet and Dr. Antonacci, will continue to bring cutting edge treatments to their young scoliosis patients.