Sent as an email to: Tamara Bonzanto and Jon Hodnette - House Subcommittee On Oversight & Investigations
1) It took a little over a year a year to get a Research Grant to run a study on the Liver Fluke parasite for Vietnam Combat Veterans. The original study was to have been 100 Combat Veterans, but at the last minute was cut to 50. Numerous inconsistencies were encountered in the administration of this study. The result was that 25% of the Veterans tested properly came back positive. This is a very remarkable number, and one which the VA is running from as fast as it can.
2) We have had three “Directors” in the past six months, and things have gone from bad to worse in the categories of administration, maintenance, staffing, Patient Care, Employee Relations, and a host of other secondary issues. All these point to the further and quickening decline of this Medical Center to the point where the Joint Commission needs to come in here and shut the entire operation down.
3) The old “mold” situation has exploded. We now have a large rodent infestation inside fully occupied buildings. We have a maintenance crew that sprays insecticides without notifying the occupants of the buildings in which they are spraying. There is no communication as to exactly what type or concentration of insecticide was sprayed. And, Staff, Inpatients, and Outpatients are flocking to the Emergency Room seeking relief from nausea and light-headedness. Whole parts of buildings are being shut down due to this undocumented spraying, and Staff is being told to stay home sick until further notice. The shuttered sections of these buildings will be closed until further notice, also. N.B.: All shuttered areas are active Patient treatment areas.
4) Last Friday, 8/18/2017, we had torrential downpours of rain. Not only were the old buildings leaking, but the subterranean connector tunnels and basements all flooded. This caused Patients in wheelchairs to become stranded and in need of rescue. It also caused various items of debris and garbage to float through the tunnels.
5) Getting back to the “Director”, currently Scot Guermonprez. He is on a three week vacation. Before he left, he held an “employees only ”Town Hall” meeting. One result of that meeting: Mark Kaufman, Steve Snyder, and Patty Burke reassigned to the Bronx VA. An ongoing situation: reassignment of Outpatient Nurses to the Geriatric side of the Medical Wards and the Nursing Home to satisfy a requirement of the VA/OIG’s last visit. Another ongoing situation: the attempt to terminate 461 Employees from an already understaffed Facility. I wonder what the Joint Commission would have to say about staffing levels and the accreditation of the Hospital?
President, PTSD Veterans Association of Northport, Inc.
Advisor to the Board, Victory For Veterans Foundation, Inc.
Veterans Advisory Committee, RIP Medical Debt, Inc.
1) This Liver Fluke issue is going to be three times larger than Agent Orange was. It is going to span every conflict from Korea to all our current Wars and Areas of Operations. It is going to affect all our standing Military, National Guard, Reservists, Veterans, and all their Families. N.B.: The Government saw 10 people come up positive with the Zika Virus and within two weeks found $600 million for a vaccine. They have know about the danger of these Liver Flukes since 1917, and have done absolutely nothing!
2) A while back, there was an article in the local Newspaper about a proposal to find $279 million to remediate all the maintenance problems at the VA Medical Center in Northport, NY. Apparently, the "bean-counters" took a second look at that number vs. the job that needed to be done, and they reached the conclusion that $279 million would rent the Bulldozers and Dump Trucks needed to raze the entire Campus. For once in my life, I find myself agreeing with "bean-counters". I think they may be onto something!
3) By reducing the operating Staff of the Hospital to a certain number, the Joint Commission, who accredits the Hospital, can withdraw that accreditation and cease the Hospital from operating completely. By forcing the closure of this Facility using this tactic, the management doesn't have to go to Congress to get permission to close it. That would require way too much testimony, justification, and paperwork for the Hospital management. I think dealing with Congress is far above their pay grade.
4) So, there you have it! As a number of Veterans on Long Island have been saying for years, now, "It's just a matter of time before the VA figures out a way to close this whole operation down." It seems as if the time has come, and 180,000 Veterans in two Counties on Long Island will be left to fend for themselves.
|IT'S NOT JUST FOR|
All I can say at this point is, "Good luck!"