Ex-director of New York hospital's AI...

Ex-director of New York hospital's AIDS center is arrested -

There are 42 comments on the Newsday story from Aug 2, 2007, titled Ex-director of New York hospital's AIDS center is arrested -. In it, Newsday reports that:

Dr. Ramon Torres was arraigned Wednesday in Criminal Court on charges of grand larceny and the unlawful practice of medicine.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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Pablo Colon DPM

AOL

#1 Aug 3, 2007
The following words in support of Ramon (Gabriel) Torres in light of his recent alleged medicaid fraud charges published in your newspaper ( newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny-... )
Like for so many people, Gabriel was my mentor when he was at the height of his amazing medical career. He was a pioneer in HIV/AIDS research and treatment who provided compassionate care to thousands of PWA's at a time when few doctors even wanted to touch them. Dr. Torres was one of the investigators who found treatment for PCP pneumonia, the #1 killer at the start of the epidemic; He was also involved in protease inhibitor clinical trials, the drugs that changed the pandemic. He was also the author of first study that gave hard evidence of how HIV/AIDS treatment is cost effective, information that was crucial to mandate health insurance companies to pay for them. The information also came at a time when world governments needed their arm twisted to provide treatment and care to PWA"S. He taught thousands of medical providers and patients the nuances of HIV/AIDS treatment. As the expert and pioneer that he was, he traveled the world giving talks and was involved in AIDS research at all levels. With his expert and cutting edge treatment practices he saved countless lives. I'd say this is an HUGE legacy that we can't forget.
Pablo Colon, DPM
NYC
marie castellano

Philadelphia, PA

#2 Aug 6, 2007
i was a patient of dr.torres in his private practice and wouldlike to comment on the type of doctor he is.he is without a doubt one of the most intelligent,knowledgable doctors i have ever met(andi am 75years old so i have met many drs.)yes,he is not your average dr,he treats people and their medical problems before he asks about insurance. if you dont have insurance he willsurely treat you any way,he spends time with his patients,listens to them, never talks down to them. he has many of the attributesa doctor should have and then some. if he has a weakness it is his inability to rush a patient,to say no to a patient and im sure many times he neglects to fully charge for his services.if he has problems with medicare&medicaid billing i knowit is poor book keeping not theft.this is a time when allof those patients dr. torres has helped over the years,come forward onhis behalf. god bless you ramon torres m.d.
david litleshortman

Brooklyn, NY

#3 Aug 7, 2007
crystal meth was his downfall. how many times do you have to get arrested with a pipe on your dashboard that you get the message. maybe dr torres ramon , gabriel or which evername he uses this wee
will realize america is not only for him (or one of his alias)
paula levine

Brooklyn, NY

#4 Aug 7, 2007
i think it is about time.
this man, what is his real name ? he has so many alias whats the story and when he was arrested on wed how much crystal meth did he have on him?
how many apartments in the city does he have with different name? we want to know
neal nextdoor

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Aug 7, 2007
i hear the roomates on fire island are the next ones to be arrested.
Vicky Steine

AOL

#6 Aug 7, 2007
I agree with both Dr. Colon and Mrs. Castellano regarding Dr. Ramon “Gabriel” Torres and the kind of person he is. I was a hospital social worker at a time when the AIDS epidemic was in full swing and the entire health care community was caught off guard with limited resources and so many medical personnel were unwilling to treat people with this dreaded illness… At that time Gabe Torres did not flinch like many doctors did…. he stepped up to the plate and treated infected people regardless of their ability to Besides being a humanitarian, as Dr. Colon mentioned, Dr. Torres was a pioneer in the field of AIDS research.

And as Mrs. Castellano stated so eloquently, if Dr. Torres has one fault, it is caring too much for his patients, spending too much time on those regardless of their insurance status, and keeping a billing company that was less then accurate in their billing practices. I know at least three people whose insurances were never billed for multiple visits rendered by Dr. Torres. To even suggest that he had anything to do with Medicaid fraud is absurd. Although brilliant, Dr. Torres had minimal knowledge about the workings of insurance. His main concern was determining an accurate differential diagnosis and treating the patient accordingly. Patient care, not insurance billing and payments have always been his main concern.

Now I will not discuss any accusations of drug or alcohol abuse but if any of these accusations are true, should not the guilty parties here be the medical profession and/or the hospitals which turned their back on one of their own! Shame on a profession that casts away a clinician who has given his all to his work….and if at a time when he needs help they just sanction him and kick him to the curb without even offering any help….I ask who really is the guilty party here!

What a loss to his patients and the medical profession…..and for those who are pointing there fingers at Dr. Torres now…have some … he has for all these years!
Rob Hansen

New York, NY

#7 Aug 8, 2007
Dear Mr litleshortman, are you quite sure you know what you're running on about,I certainly know what kind of a man Dr Torres is. these "aliases" are infact real names given by his parents they are a part of his heritage and history. so what is your real name sir? care to come out of the littleshortcloset of yours. and yes my name is real and I hail from ozone park, Queens.
david litleshortman wrote:
crystal meth was his downfall. how many times do you have to get arrested with a pipe on your dashboard that you get the message. maybe dr torres ramon , gabriel or which evername he uses this wee
will realize america is not only for him (or one of his alias)
Rob Hansen

New York, NY

#8 Aug 8, 2007
neal nextdoor wrote:
i hear the roomates on fire island are the next ones to be arrested.
where did you hear that Sherlock? meatrack? maybe? cmon guys. grow up.
Michelle-Lopez

Plainview, NY

#9 Aug 8, 2007
I am so appalled by members in society when we choose to focus on the negative. I prayers for DR.Torres to get the help that he deserves. I too was a personal friend of him. He is truly one of my heroes. He is a man full of dedication and commitment. I remember the work he did with Community Healthcare Network with helping with the refugees from Haiti in Guatanemo Bay. I know of many of my friends who are passed and many still alive that he took care of in a compassionate manner. As Pablo Colon stated we must remember his legcacy. Sad to say he is human and many of us today still do not understand the underlying issues of drug use and the pain that is being hidden by the use of substances. Gabe i will always love and remember you.
Michelle-Lopez-B KLYN-NY

Plainview, NY

#10 Aug 8, 2007
People is society a quick to put judgment on one another. No one knows what turmoil Dr.Torres may have been enduring knowing that he was loosing a battle to drugs. I knew him personally and under all the drugs, we have a man that is truly dedicated and passionate for the care and life of those of us infected with this disease called HIV/AIDS. I will continue to prayer for Dr. Torres and his family, because I know he came from one.
Room-mate

New York, NY

#11 Aug 8, 2007
Why would you say something like this. why.
Paul

Brooklyn, NY

#12 Aug 8, 2007
This is what I know personally about Torres. He is a crystal meth addict. He lies. He lied to the real estate agent about the number of dogs he had prior to moving into our building. He lied to people about how much he cared for his dogs. He routinely beat his dogs, didn't take care of them properly, let them defecate and urinate in his apartment, in the building hallways and stairs and would not clean it nor clean up after his dogs in the street. We felt sorry for those dogs. They didn't deserve such a person.

Imagine having people come to visit you and have to walk into a building that constantly smelled of excrement from four dogs living in Torres' apartment! We and our friends and family had to live with that for over 15 months.

Picture meth addicts waiting in the building lobby and outside Torres' door for their next meth buy and everyone coming into the building wondering if they would be attacked.

Picture being woken up by the building fire alarms at 4:30am, walking out into a hallway full of smoke because Torres passed out in his apartment after a meth binge and left the stove on setting his kitchen on fire. Our lungs and nostrils were full of soot for days.

Picture coming to your neighbor's aid after his dogs attacked her and her dog as she was coming into the building and he was leaving. No one laid a hand on Torres but he goes to the police and files a false assault charge against you.

Picture Torres' dogs attacking your dog in the hallway, you manage to pull them off your dog while Torres does nothing but stand in his doorway. You throw the dogs back into his apartment and ask him how many more times this has to happen before he learns and he then proceeds to attack you.

These are all factual statements and events. We have the police reports, restraining order against him, calls to the fire department, and numerous letters to the landlord and city health department to prove it.

That is a small part of the hell that was living with Torres in the same building. He was kicked out of the last building he lived in for the same reasons. Unfortunately the realtor that rented the apartment in our building cared more about obtaining the rental fee than doing a proper background check.

I, my building neighbors and fellow neighborhood residents know Torres very well. I can tell you we are all very glad he will get his just desserts.

Perhaps at one time Torres cared but he certainly doesn't care any more and he hasn't for years. He is a grown man and has to take responsibility for his actions. Regardless of your past you have to account for your present. Torres is no longer a good person.
George

Bainbridge Island, WA

#13 Aug 13, 2007
I knew Dr Torres years ago, and I'm very saddened to hear of his problems.

Meth steals the soul, and changes people into very different creatures.

I hope he is able to find his way back, and he will remain in my thoughts.
Sleepless In Manhattan

Bristol, PA

#14 Aug 13, 2007
ALL OF THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FACT...

I lived the nightmare... regardless of what wonderful things this human being did at one time... he's clearly not the same person now... it's an example of how people can change... and do... he should be an example to each of us - how anyone can have tragedy happen... and how important it is to stay focused on what is true and good...

Not that anyone deserves bad to happen to them... however - this guy brought it on himself... and there is a lot of truth to you reap what you sew...

And regarding what compassion this guy had at one time... practicing medicine without a license and while under the influence - well... that's not compassion... that's attempted murder...
Paul wrote:
This is what I know personally about Torres. He is a crystal meth addict. He lies. He lied to the real estate agent about the number of dogs he had prior to moving into our building. He lied to people about how much he cared for his dogs. He routinely beat his dogs, didn't take care of them properly, let them defecate and urinate in his apartment, in the building hallways and stairs and would not clean it nor clean up after his dogs in the street. We felt sorry for those dogs. They didn't deserve such a person.
Imagine having people come to visit you and have to walk into a building that constantly smelled of excrement from four dogs living in Torres' apartment! We and our friends and family had to live with that for over 15 months.
Picture meth addicts waiting in the building lobby and outside Torres' door for their next meth buy and everyone coming into the building wondering if they would be attacked.
Picture being woken up by the building fire alarms at 4:30am, walking out into a hallway full of smoke because Torres passed out in his apartment after a meth binge and left the stove on setting his kitchen on fire. Our lungs and nostrils were full of soot for days.
Picture coming to your neighbor's aid after his dogs attacked her and her dog as she was coming into the building and he was leaving. No one laid a hand on Torres but he goes to the police and files a false assault charge against you.
Picture Torres' dogs attacking your dog in the hallway, you manage to pull them off your dog while Torres does nothing but stand in his doorway. You throw the dogs back into his apartment and ask him how many more times this has to happen before he learns and he then proceeds to attack you.
These are all factual statements and events. We have the police reports, restraining order against him, calls to the fire department, and numerous letters to the landlord and city health department to prove it.
That is a small part of the hell that was living with Torres in the same building. He was kicked out of the last building he lived in for the same reasons. Unfortunately the realtor that rented the apartment in our building cared more about obtaining the rental fee than doing a proper background check.
I, my building neighbors and fellow neighborhood residents know Torres very well. I can tell you we are all very glad he will get his just desserts.
Perhaps at one time Torres cared but he certainly doesn't care any more and he hasn't for years. He is a grown man and has to take responsibility for his actions. Regardless of your past you have to account for your present. Torres is no longer a good person.
Esperanza

New York, NY

#15 Aug 13, 2007
i have been with dr. torres from his beginings, and i for one can say that i never saw anything negative in him. never saw him high on anything and never saw abused on his dogs. that said no matter what his defects were, he will always be remember for the great person and doctor that he is.he will always be in my prayers
Lori Chase NY NY

AOL

#16 Aug 14, 2007
I too am saddened by the news of Dr. Torres' arrest. I know the good he has done in the HIV/AIDS community and the number of lives he has saved by his concern and his rendering free care to uninsured people at a time when the first question you are asked before being treated is "what is your insurance carrier?" I can site story after story of lives that were saved by Dr. Torres' fine diagnostic and clinical skills. I have even heard stories from major labs (no not meth labs) like Quest and Lab Corp where Dr. Torres sent Patients to get HIV testing to determine what HIV meds they would be most suited for and he would tell the lab to place the cost on his tab...Yes there are endless ssuch stories but I know those of us who really knew Dr. Torres have stories of their own...
I am sorry to see that he has angered people..who label him an addict. If this is the case, I would hope you can recognize that addiction, just like AIDS, is a disease which requires treatment and hopefully someone will assist Dr. Torres (as he has assisted so many others) in his quest towards sobriety.
To call him a liar because he lied to a building manager or real estate agent about how many dogs he had is ridiculous. Paul, I live in a building where dogs are not allowed and everyone, including the elderly, defy the rules and bring in multiple dogs and it is just accepted! I don't condone this because I don't have a dog and obey the rules but really..... Certainly lying about how many dogs one owns is not criminal and as a matter of fact, these days is quite the norm!...and I know for a fact at least one of those dogs belonged to a patient who refused to be hospitalized unless his dog had somewhere to go...Dr. Torres, being the soft-hearted person that he is, agreed to take the dog in, so that the patient would agree to be hopitalized...the patient subsequently died....Now I can understand being annoyed by the types of behavior some of you have described but I just want to again stress the type of man, doctor and person that Dr. Torres is and hope that you can find some compassion for someone who has given so much to so many!...You should realize that there but for the grace of God go anyone of us...
tim henderson

Worcester, MA

#17 Aug 15, 2007
i know for a fact that gabriel torres needs help for his crystal meth addiction...he is a sick person who needs help not prison...too bad that he did these illegal things but being hooked on meth leads you to do a lot of illegal things..please help this sick not bad person
stranger

New York, NY

#18 Aug 22, 2007
i have known Ramon under the name of gabriel like most people, we have not been friends but i have stayed in touch with him from time to time and have actually experienced his trouble with his many dogs,( i'm very happy that they all have a new home since his meth use has left him in no state of having the responsibility to care for them) i have also seen him smoking meth on many occasions and i mean smoking constantly, it was clear that it has taken hold of him and that he was spiraling downwards in his life, it has taken hold of him and ramon was truly sick and needed help)

i do believe that he did not care of the people he encountered for his many sexual escapades and i know for a fact that he never used any condoms etc during intercouse, what a makes me very sad, knowing that he was a doctor.

may he get help and may he get hold of his addition and be able to move on in another profession then he should not be able to practive medicin ever again.
Howard Grossman

United States

#19 Aug 23, 2007
I am so glad that Pablo Colon reminds us of the important things----the contributions that Gabe Torres has made to so many people over the years.

I think there's been an enormous amount written about the effects of the HIV epidemic on patients and their family/caregivers, but there's very little that addresses how devastating this whole thing has been for the medical providers involved. So many doctors, PAs, nurses and NPs have been chewed up and spit out by everything that's happened.

My heart goes out to Gabe Torres who has always been a good man.
JRV

New York, NY

#20 Aug 25, 2007
Paul wrote:
This is what I know personally about Torres. He is a crystal meth addict. He lies. He lied to the real estate agent about the number of dogs he had prior to moving into our building. He lied to people about how much he cared for his dogs. He routinely beat his dogs, didn't take care of them properly, let them defecate and urinate in his apartment, in the building hallways and stairs and would not clean it nor clean up after his dogs in the street. We felt sorry for those dogs. They didn't deserve such a person.
Imagine having people come to visit you and have to walk into a building that constantly smelled of excrement from four dogs living in Torres' apartment! We and our friends and family had to live with that for over 15 months.
Picture meth addicts waiting in the building lobby and outside Torres' door for their next meth buy and everyone coming into the building wondering if they would be attacked.
Picture being woken up by the building fire alarms at 4:30am, walking out into a hallway full of smoke because Torres passed out in his apartment after a meth binge and left the stove on setting his kitchen on fire. Our lungs and nostrils were full of soot for days.
Picture coming to your neighbor's aid after his dogs attacked her and her dog as she was coming into the building and he was leaving. No one laid a hand on Torres but he goes to the police and files a false assault charge against you.
Picture Torres' dogs attacking your dog in the hallway, you manage to pull them off your dog while Torres does nothing but stand in his doorway. You throw the dogs back into his apartment and ask him how many more times this has to happen before he learns and he then proceeds to attack you.
These are all factual statements and events. We have the police reports, restraining order against him, calls to the fire department, and numerous letters to the landlord and city health department to prove it.
That is a small part of the hell that was living with Torres in the same building. He was kicked out of the last building he lived in for the same reasons. Unfortunately the realtor that rented the apartment in our building cared more about obtaining the rental fee than doing a proper background check.
I, my building neighbors and fellow neighborhood residents know Torres very well. I can tell you we are all very glad he will get his just desserts.
Perhaps at one time Torres cared but he certainly doesn't care any more and he hasn't for years. He is a grown man and has to take responsibility for his actions. Regardless of your past you have to account for your present. Torres is no longer a good person.
He is a meth addict not a horrible human being. No one was ever going to get mugged in your lobby. Have some compassion. He's out of your building, now pray for him!!

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