A Wayne County woman said a women’s clinic called police to be present for her Tuesday afternoon exam after she left a negative review on the clinic’s Facebook page.
Jenelle Marie Pierce said she contacted Wayne Women’s Clinic Tuesday morning to ask for a renewal of a prescription. The request was a follow up to a call she made the previous week.
“They told me that they would not be able to do my prescription renewal without a well-woman physical and office visit,” Pierce said. “However, this is the first time in 20 years of having this prescription that I needed to come in for a renewal. I had seen the doctor 18 months prior and had an entire pap smear and an entire physical and such.”
Pierce said she talked to four different staff members, and the transfers included being redirected to voicemails which necessitated additional calls to sort things out. She said she became aggravated and used a curse word while speaking with one of the employees.
She is the executive director for The STD Project, which advocates for sexual health and prevention as well as removing the stigmas associated with people who have sexually transmitted infections. Pierce said the prescription was for Valtrex to treat her genital herpes, and she believes the staff at the Goldsboro clinic judged her negatively during her calls.
After scheduling an appointment for Tuesday afternoon, Pierce wanted to vent.
“I went onto Facebook and wrote a review. It was not a glowing review, not super positive, about the people who actually ran the office. However, I did have a good experience a year and a half earlier with the doctor, so I do state that in my review but I was very clear that I felt like the conversation in the morning was handled unprofessionally,” she said.
Pierce’s one star review reads in full:
Rude and incredibly unprofessional office staff. Does not adhere to ACOG and FDA recommendations for well-women visits and prescription renewals. While my visit with Ben Kitchin was wonderful last year, the office is run by antiquated, backwoods rural, close-minded women who lack empathy and who are not interested in helping people deal with highly stressful or stigmatized diagnosis.
She said the critical post before her appointment was to send a message to the staff that she was not happy with how they spoke to her over the phone. Pierce said she did not want to wait until after the visit because she worried that if it was a good experience, she would not have stated the negative. She said she planned to write a positive review about the visit if things went well.
Things turned out worse than she anticipated.
Pierce arrived 10 minutes early for her 1:45 p.m. appointment. Moments after she sat down in the waiting room, two Goldsboro Police officers entered the facility.
“I heard them say, ‘We were called by the office manager and told to be here and that’s why we’ve arrive,'” Pierce said.
She recorded video of the officers standing in the hallway outside her exam room, and said they were in view as a nurse took her vitals and discussed her history of medications.
“It was scary and I stood in the actual exam room for a while, cried, called my husband, and then decided I need to do something about this. I have to record this. This is inappropriate,” she said.
“Good use of your time today, huh, gentlemen,” Pierce said to the officers while recording them.
“We get called, we just show up,” one officer said.
“Yep, that’s how that works. A little hysterics and melodrama for you,” she said as she walked away.
The officers left the clinic when she did.
Wayne Women’s Clinic did respond to CBS 17’s phone calls or emails left for management.
Someone on staff replied to Pierce’s review with a post that said, “We are very sorry we missed the mark. Someone from our office will be reaching out to you to get the issue resolved.”
“That was cute, however they responded to that at (11:59), and then they called the police afterwards. So their way in which to handle it and follow up was to call the police before I showed up for my appointment,” Pierce said.
“If they were truly concerned about their safety then they should have canceled the appointment and not had me come in to begin with. I went there fully intending to get a well-woman visit, not that that was what I wanted to do for the day, and I was very upset about having to do that, just for the sake of getting this prescription refilled,” she said.
“None of this should have gone through. None of this should have followed through in this manner. The police should have said, ‘We can’t come behind closed doors, we can’t stand in front of someone’s exam room while they’re an obstetrics and gynecological visit.’ How inappropriate is that? The office should never have called the police and should have just canceled the appointment right from the start.”
Pierce plans to file a formal complaint about patient privacy.