Thank you for all of your messages and support of Dr. Afrin’s transition. Just to give everyone an update and to keep misinformation at bay as much as possible, we do not have additional information to share concerning Dr. Afrin’s transition from the University of Minnesota, instructions for rescheduling patients or scheduling a new patient appointment or adding names to a new waitlist. Details are very much still being confirmed and we know no more today than we did Monday, which is the same as everyone else.
Information and details will be provided as soon as everything is confirmed. Dr. Afrin has stated that he will do his best to honor everyone’s appointment dates plus his transition period, or their place on his waitlist — versus everyone having to schedule and wait all over again. We cannot say for sure exactly how it will all work out, or how to answer how the logistics of the transition will be handled. We are also not sure what the process will be. Mast Cell Research is only helping field emails and messages during Dr. Afrin’s transition since we are associated with the publishing of his book. Dr. Afrin wanted to ensure that current patients and others could easily find information and updates, since he does not have a website, nor does he use social media platforms himself. The website and email associated with his book seemed to be the best solution for the interim.
Additionally, it’s important to address an issue/concern that was brought to our attention after Dr. Afrin’s statement was first posted – i.e. Dr. Afrin’s direction for his practice after leaving his current position, if the original post was edited to include information about possible a center/institute, and how current and new patients found out this news.
First, we are deeply sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding that the message pertaining to Dr. Afrin’s professional transition may have caused to current patients, new patients or anyone else.
Second, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings about Dr. Afrin’s statement and the entire situation. Period. We would never fault anyone for expressing their feelings, good or bad, nor would Dr. Afrin. It’s not a super easy situation to manage overall.
Third, the original message posted on MastCellResearch.com and then shared on the Mast Cell Research Facebook page was NEVER edited to later include the statement about the MCAS center/institute. The statement we posted came directly from Dr. Afrin — Mast Cell Research’s website solely served as the vehicle to deliver the chosen statement, enclosed in quotes, and copied and pasted verbatim, that Dr. Afrin requested to be shared. When Dr. Afrin’s statement was posted on the news/blog page of the Mast Cell Research website at 8:59 am EST on Monday, June 5th, 2017, the same post was automatically shared on the Mast Cell Research Facebook page — by a computer, not a human being. The post on the Mast Cell Research news/blog page, the page dedicated to updates on Dr. Afrin’s transition, or the post on Facebook, were never edited after being published, nor have they been since.
We do not have authority or power to edit the words Dr. Afrin chooses to use in a public statement once it’s been approved — and especially not when it has the potential to affect patients, nor do we care to do so. If Dr. Afrin specifically asked for his statement to be edited after it was published — that would be different, but was not and is not the case. His public statement has remained the same since the time we received it, to the time it was posted and has remained the same since. Dr. Afrin’s sentence that mentions starting a clinic/Institute for MCAS has always been included — in the 1st sentence. It’s often easy to miss information when we first read something, especially if it’s information that is surprising or concerning to us.
Fourth, Dr. Afrin chose to publish something publicly at a certain time on a specific day. He was well aware that it would only be a matter of time before the first new patient or current patient called his office, and then news of his transition would spread like wildfire. Dr. Afrin opted to share the information in a way that ensured his news spread directly from his own words, versus anything else. He also wanted to help steer the trajectory of how people received and perceived the information (as much as possible), by focusing on something positive and the bigger picture – i.e. a type of dedicated center or institute for the diagnosis and treatment of MCAS (again, always contained in the first sentence), and by not leaving people to wonder why they didn’t hear the news from him first.
Because Mast Cell Research shared Dr. Afrin’s personal statement first, doing so does not insinuate that his office, the University of Minnesota, or Dr. Afrin himself would not do their due diligence to contact patients directly. In fact, that is exactly what happened right away on Monday as well – patients were contacted.
The truth is that there is no best way to deliver this type of information, especially when you are dealing with patients who have suffered countless years and who are desperately in need of help. No one takes that more seriously than Dr. Afrin or Mast Cell Research. Unfortunately, there are always pros and cons when sharing information — and specifically, when choosing how or when it’s delivered. However, we cannot control if pieces of information are missed by some, misunderstood by others, or how people personally choose to react to the information they hear or read. We are all just trying to do the best we can.
Again, we apologize to anyone who may have misunderstood or misread Dr. Afrin’s statement published on Monday morning. We also apologize if anyone was upset by how the news of his transition from the University of Minnesota was initially read or heard by the group of patients and the broader MCAS community who are more active on social media than others — our intent was to be proactive vs. reactive. If you still have questions or concerns about how things were handled or feel that the post shared on Monday morning was subsequently edited to include the statement about a possible MCAS center or institute after it was originally published, please feel free to contact Dr. Afrin directly. He will be in his current position through July 31st, 2017, and his main contact information remains the same until them. Questions pertaining to Dr. Afrin’s book and general MCAS “help”-type questions, are best emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Finally, updates on Dr. Afrin’s professional transition, information concerning his new practice, and other pertinent and necessary details will be provided on the Mast Cell Research website via http://mastcellresearch.com/mast-cell-research-update-message-dr-lawrence-afrin/ — a page specifically dedicated to helping patients and the MCAS community find this important and necessary information easily. We will also share all updates via the Mast Cell Research email list and the Mast Cell Research Facebook page.
Thank you for your patience and support during Dr. Afrin’s transition and this exciting time for the entire MCAD/MCAS community.
Change is hard, but it’s often a good thing.