VI Oncology & Hematology (Dr. Hobdy)
I am researching for our potential move to STT in January. I have been combing the internet for 6 months and thankful for the abundance of info I've been sifting through on this forum.
I will be taking my 66-yr-old mother and my Staffordshire Terrier with me. My mom has chemo treatments twice a month and has been going for the past 2 years. Despite her treatments, she has been doing amazingly well… aerobic walks, plays golf, and doesn't have some of the horrible side effects. But like anyone she has good days and bad days. She is on Medicare, of course, and I also got her a supplemental insurance plan through Cigna.
Anyway, she has a great oncologist here in DFW and he is totally on board and excited for her (as he said he has spent some time in STT). He will also be assisting with her medical care and treatments from his stateside location to help her oncologist on the island.
I have read mixed reviews about healthcare there. My question is about SRMC, Kimmelman Cancer Center, and VI Oncology & Hematology….recommendations and thoughts? Any healthcare feedback would be greatly appreciated. :$)
Most importantly, I am also researching an oncologist that would be good to go with. I found an oncologist by the name of Dr. Erole Hobdy and it seems she has great credentials ( http://vioandh.com/about-us/). Does anyone know her or of anyone that has been in her care? :S She has 12 years of experience and I think she is from Jamaica with family in VI as well (which is great because I'm hoping she wouldn't be leaving the island since she has family and owner of VI Oncology & Hematology).
I have gathered the following info as a profile:
Dr. Erole D. Hobdy
Medical School: Columbia (1998)
Residency: Columbia & Yale New Haven Hospitals (2004)
Board certifications: Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine
Publications: 3 on the subjects of lung cancer, prostate cancer, and metastasis
Owner: Virgin Islands Oncology & Hematology
NPI Number #1851340723
License: Virgin Islands - 1331
Patients: 142 Medicare patients in 2012
Location: VI Medical Foundation Building
Telephone Number: 340-776-1551
Fax Number: 340-776-1552
I did see a previous post regarding this doctor, however, the OP didn't get much feedback just contact info. Thanks in advance and I hope everyone had a great 4th of July holiday over the weekend!
If nobody else posts, I'll post feedback I've heard from others. I know someone who had an unusual case of breast cancer at a very young age (20s, I think), and Dr Hobte found a research program for her to participate in. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago, but she knew she was incurable.
There are many cancer survivors here, so I'll ask around if nobody else responds.
There are two oncology practices: Caribbean Hematology and Oncology (Dr. Bachan and Dr. Condon Richardson) and Virgin Islands Oncology and Hematology (Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Hobdy and Dr. Daglish). Both practices have proponents. They have their own infusion suites separate from CKCI, the Cancer Institute at SRMC. I will say that money from the tobacco settlement was used to build the cancer center as well as the cardiac center on St Croix. The idea was to allow Virgin Islanders to stay in the VI for treatment, instead of going to the states or PR. It has allowed that. On the other hand, the medical oncologists decided to take their private patients out of the system, making it more difficult for SRMC to have a balanced source of income. Oncology drugs are very expensive.
As an aside, before you move your mom down here,check to see if her supplemental plan will be accepted here. Medicare recipients cannot sign up for them here.
Thanks!! The stateside oncologist is out of the country on vacation so we will be meeting with him again at the end of the month to discuss how we can transfer her records & stay in contact with him to advise regularly regarding lab work, chemo, and prescriptions.
We have contacted Medicare, Part D Prescription Plan company, and Cigna supplemental insurance company and they have all said her coverage would stay the same if we moved from stateside to STT (I'm pretty sure I will be requesting this in writing as well).
We have visited several places in addition to VI such as Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Hawaii, etc. We felt Hawaii was not the right fit for us and somewhere like VI/PR she might have same insurance.
My mom & I have discussed the pros and cons of VI several times as she talks nonstop about us going since I approached her with the idea and showed her the research. The temps where we live are extremely harsh and hard on her. Triple digits+ in the summer for 3-4 months and last winter was the worst ever with ice storms so she tends to stay indoors a lot and needs to be out and about. We learned some new weather terms I have never heard of before such as "freezing fog??")…lol maybe we can trade freezing fog, tornadoes, and floods for hurricane season, WAPA, and huge potholes? 🙂
We are shooting for January still... which I understand from locals might not be the best time to arrive and look for rentals and employment?? We would like to ultimately sign a year lease, establish residency, etc in order for me to possibly enroll in the university and get my MBA. I am willing to work 2 jobs to make this happen and I'm sure there will still be time to spend with mom on the island!
Hopefully, we would not have to leave because of her medical needs but we feel compelled to get there and stay as long as we can God willing.