VIRGINIA BEACH -- When Taylor Kroeger needed to lose weight, she enlisted the help of the The Chase Wellness Center, and its founder, Lisa Harris, M.D.
'I have already lost 60 pounds,' Kroeger tells 13News. 'I was completely satisfied with the results I was getting, and I just wanted more, and I wanted to be able to finish it, so I could lose the amount of wait that I wanted to lose.'
The chance to finish the programwon't come. Kroeger explains a couple of weeks ago, she tried to contact the center to change an appointment. She couldn't get a hold of anyone. Kroeger went to the center and found a note on the door that said: 'Due to unforeseen circumstances our office is not open today.'
It didn't seem like a huge deal initially, but, then, no one called to confirm her appointment that week. The posted note remained there for a second day. Kroeger called, emailed, tried to reach Harris, even asked around in the office building where Chase is located to find out what was happening.
Kroeger, who paid $600 for three-months-worth of treatment received only half of that. Through the Internet, she connected with other patients who find themselves in similar situations.
'I'm frustrated, 'cause it's not really about the money. It's about the, just, completely cutting us off, not giving us a heads up or a reason why,' Kroeger says.
13News found Harris at her home in Virginia Beach Tuesday night. She declined to go on camera, speaking from around a corner in the house while her son held the front door open.
Harris emailed this statement to us:
'I have made the decision to close The Chase Wellness Center as of August 16, 2010 to focus on my personal health and family. I would like to extend a sincere thank you for all of the support I have received throughout the past 16 years and especially would like to thank all of my patients for their commitment to me and to their overall health. It has been a pleasure
meeting and working with all of you, and I wish you continued success moving forward. If anyone would like a copy of your medical records, please contact me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.'
With no mention of compensation for patientswho paid for treatments TheChase Wellness Center had not provided, 13Newsresponded to the emailed statement,asking what Harris might do toaddress the situation.
She replied: 'My patient records are being reviewed. If anyone believes they are owed a refund, they should contact my office via this email address.'
'At the beginning, I saw her as a really professional medical doctor,' says Kroeger 'She's not that caring person that I thought she was at first, because a caring person -- especially a doctor -- would never do something like this, not to just one person, but to a community of people who sought her out, because theyknew she could change their lives.'