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Stressed Doctors Urge Douglas County Residents To Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread, Deaths


More than 130 Douglas County medical professionals have signed an open letter to residents. The missive calls on patients and neighbors to wear masks indoors, get vaccinated and steer clear of unproven treatments for COVID-19.

The letter is a public health message from those on the frontlines. It acknowledges "the unique and devastating nature of COVID-19."

Dr. Michael Krnacik has been practicing medicine in Roseburg for twenty years. He described how he and his colleagues feel.

“Well stressed. I mean, we’re dealing with a lot of sick people. Our hospital has been filled with COVID patients for the last couple of months. And we’ve seen a lot of people die and a lot of us feel that some have been needless.”

In the letter, physicians express frustration that their advice during the pandemic has been ignored or contradicted. It says this has led to Douglas County “becoming one of the sickest in the nation.”

The entire letter and signatures from medical professionals in solidarity with the Douglas County Independent Practitioners Association

September 27, 2021

Dear patients and neighbors,

Douglas County’s community of healthcare providers are being tested like never before.  COVID-19 is a unique and devastating disease that is causing death and suffering like none of us has ever seen.  We’ve watched hospital beds and the ICU overflow with patients, elective procedures cancelled, and healthcare resources become scarce. This is undeniably deadlier than the worst flu year for a hundred years and it continues to get worse.  As members of this community, we and our families are getting sick too.  It is heartbreaking to see patients fall critically ill and being unable to save them, and to know that those who are admitted to the ICU may not ever walk out.  It is discouraging to see our warnings and entreaties continue to go unheeded or contradicted, which has led to our county becoming one of the sickest in the nation.  

We strongly support the use of vaccines as the best protection against COVID-19.  Vaccines clearly prevent the worst manifestations of this terrible disease.  There is nothing more disheartening than to see patients struggling with serious complications that could have been prevented.  Improving vaccination rates will free up our hospital resources, allowing our patients to get the elective surgeries and other care they need. Vaccines will also help end the economic devastation this pandemic has brought to our community.  Professional medical societies have unanimously spoken out in support of vaccination. 

We strongly oppose the use of unproven treatments for COVID-19 that are not effective and put our patients at risk for unnecessary complications.  We also oppose the promotion of these experimental treatments in a way that obscures the risks and exaggerates the potential benefits. It is inappropriate and unethical to subject patients to experimental treatments without informed consent and outside of randomized controlled trials. As healthcare providers we are obligated to heed the guidelines of our professional organizations and to use the best evidence available to guide the treatment of our patients.

We strongly support the use of masks indoors and in crowded areas by all who can wear them.  Masks reduce the spread of the virus and reduce the risks for everyone.

We support and applaud the efforts of our local public health officials who have worked tirelessly to protect and educate our community.  They have faced incredible challenges and yet remain committed to the challenge. We will continue to follow their guidance and support them in the measures they have enacted to protect our community.


We, the physicians of Douglas County, share the commitments we’ve outlined above. Standing in solidarity against this pandemic will strengthen our resolve to continue our work in the face of continued tragedy for our community and our patients. 


Michael Krnacik, MD, PhDDCIPA Board Chairman

Bart Bruns, MD, DCIPA CEO


Sarah Agsten, DO

Hennie Abrio, MD

Faye Ameredes, DO

Tyler Andrews, MD

Kate Bayliss, MD

Jacob Benford, MD

Heidi Beery, MD

Phillip Benedetti, MD

Joseph M. Black, MD

Diane Bolduc, MD

Kurt Brickner, DO

Gregory S. Brigham, PhD, ABPP

Gary Bronstein, MD

Craig Brooksby, MD

Bart Bruns, MD

Leonardo Campos, MD 

Erin Cassidy, NP

Laurance W. Choate, MD

Julia Coppi, MD

Jeff Croy, MD

Bob Dannenhoffer, MD

Kevin Dean, MD

Marcy E. Dean, MSN, FNP-C

Kanani Dilcher, MD

Gerald Engstrom, MD

Joshua Fisher, MD, MPH, MSc

Shelli Flynn, MD

Steven Follett, MD

Wade Fox, MD

Michael Fucci, DO

Jay Gade, MD

Christine Garwood, FNP

Tim Gladding, MD

Sylvia Gosline, MD

Razvan Gosman, MD

Andrea Gray, MD

Jason Gray, MD

Aric Groshong, MD

Anjali Gupta, MD

Wilson Gutierrez, MD

Allen Hack, MD

Bret Hansen, MD

Dustin Harn, PA-C, MSPAS

Candace Hatton, FNP

Emmanuelle Hebert, FNP

Marie Hebert, MD

Rachel Hebert, FNP

Luke Herscher, DO

Lisa Hobart, PA-C

Jim Hoyne, DO

Travis Inglis, DO

Laurentiu Istrate, MD

Neha Jain, MD

Chris Jannelli, MD

Gerry Jaworski, MD

Jens Johansson, DO

Angela Jones, MD

Layne Jorgensen, DO

Faarina Khan, MD

Ovais Khan, MD

Robert Kloepper, MD

Michael Krnacik, MD, PhD

Arul Krishnan, MD

Anna Kulacz, MPH, PA-C

Neil Kumar, MD

Doug Larson, MD

Elliott Lange, MD

Joel Lee, MD

Michael Llewellyn, MD

Theresa M. Lundy, MD

Jacob McAvoy, PA-C

George Middlekauff, MD

Marti Mitchell, DO

Glen Monteiro, MD, MPH

Subhajit Mukherjee, MD, PhD

Jenni Nix, MD

Siobhan O’Reilly, MD, MPH

Elizabeth Oler, MD

Jolanta Olson, MD

Eric Ory, MD

Edward Ottenheimer, MD

Sandesh Pandit, MD

Britain Parrish, MD

Michael Peterson, PA-C

Claire Pollard, MD

Clem Pope, PA-C

Mark Ramirez, MD

Jay Richards, DO

Julee Richards, MD

David Rickman, MD

April Riverland, PA-C

Brad Robinson, MD

Jonathan Russell, MHS, PA-C

Rishi Saigal, MD

Cary Sanders, MD

Preeti Satyanarayana, MD

Christine Seals, MD

Brad Seely, MD

Cody Seeley, DO

Polly Sepulvado, MD

Linda Sewell, MD

Alex Shaffer, PA-C

Marcus Sickelton, PA-C

Pushpinder Singh, NP

Melissa Snell, DO

Brent Soder, MD

Chris Spence, MD

Chris Smith, MD

Cordell Smith, DPM

Ahmad B. Stanackzai, MD, MBA

Clayton Stuart, DO

Dan Sulitzer, DO

Anandita Tiwari, MD

Keneilwe Tlaang, MD

Rodney Todd, MD

Doru Totoian, MD

Micah Tovey, DPM

William Townsend, MD

Sharon Trammell, PA

John Traul, MD

Fred Van Dis, MD

Michael VanAnrooy, MD

Courtney Virgilio, MD

Vanessa Vu, MD, PhD, CASC

Victor Wallenkampf, MD

Jonathan Waller, MD, MPH

Simran Waller, MD MPH

Jerry Warren, MD

Joshua Weese, MD

Kaylan Weese, MD

Jason Wilks, DPM

Steven Williams, MD

Susan Williams, MD


Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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