Dateline: Northport, NY - 79 Middleville Rd.
- VA Medical Center, Scotty “lock-the-door” Guermonprez, Director
A little history: This magnificent Medical Campus was built between 1927 and 1931. At the time, it was the envy of institutional architecture around the Country.The buildings and grounds were well maintained over a number of years up until the Government grew tired of spending money on the costs of War (post World War II). Since then, this Medical Facility on Long Island (land of high humidity and storms) has slowly, steadily been neglected and cut short on its much needed maintenance. The result is that today there is no money whatsoever is being budgeted, or allocated, to maintain so much as a pothole in the roadway. It is a sad ending to a once fine example of the Government taking care of those who went off to fight their Wars.
Now, for your weekend update:
1) Last Sunday, the Residents in Building #65 had a four-legged visitor who apparently loves eating apples and pound cake. Of course, when little critters eat, they must also defecate, and this one did so behind one of the refrigerators; quite voluminously in fact! A call was made to the good folks at the EMS Department (Emergency Maintenance Services), and they sent one their knowledgeable rodent control personnel over to have a look at the situation. And, look is all he did. No serious investigation, no cleaning up of the poop; all that was accomplished was a short, cryptic report that stated a chipmunk must have jumped through an open window, eaten, pooped, and left. No less than six (6) more complaints had to filed to various Departments before, on Thursday, someone with a mop finally showed up and cleaned up the poop. In the meantime, the Residents went out and purchased rodent friendly “traps”; caught the little perpetrator; and, set him free in the woods. (Pictures and video will be appearing soon on local and National Media). There will be a “naming” lottery for our little friend as soon as he/she hits YouTube.
2) On Friday, our little four-legged friend apparently had not had enough of the good life inside the VA buildings and decided to, once more, venture inside. This time he/she picked the building next-door, Building #64. The same scenario is playing out with food being eaten, poops being taken, and our crack maintenance team nowhere to be seen. “Cheap Charley’s Exterminating” did show up at Building #65, on Friday at 3:30 PM, to put out some rodent traps. I think Charley is one of the management’s nephews.
most of it culminates in the basement (as in, crap rolls downhill). The walls were boiling and bubbling and exposing the underlying host of molds contained therein. The ceiling tiles were stained, where there were ceiling tiles; otherwise, there were garbage cans collecting the runoff from leaks and excess moisture. The floor in the basement used to be carpeted. I doubt anyone in his or her right mind would consider what covers that floor now to be carpet. Continuing up to the main floor, the Auditorium, the stairwell walls are in the same condition as the basement walls; boiling and bubbling with molds. By the time you reach the top of the stairs, the floor covering starts to look a little more like what we know as carpet. All the while, and as you enter the Auditorium, the smell of mold is pervasive. A quick glance at the ceiling vents, lets you know that mold is flowing though the building’s ventilation system as well as seeping through the walls. As I moseyed over to the back entrance to the main floor, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I seriously couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. The walls surrounding both back doors were grotesquely bubbled out with molds. As if this were not bad enough, the metal switch plates on the light switches by the doors had rotted off and streaks of rust were streaming down the walls underneath the light switches. I have no idea of how many reports have been submitted to our crack maintenance Department, or our stellar engineering department. At the very least, someone should be hanging a “caution - do not disturb” sign over those compromised electrical switches. I will be back there this coming Tuesday, and offer an update at that time.
4) Just when you thought the mold problem was over, on Wednesday I had the opportunity to show someone the newest outbreak of boiling/bubbling wall mold in Building #65. It quickly became evident that this person is highly allergic to molds. As they moved in to get a closer look, their face turned red and their eyes started to water and swell. I had to sternly advise this person to leave the room immediately. With a little hesitation due to curiosity about the extent of the mold, that person did leave, and a major allergic reaction was averted. (Side note: The location of this mold outbreak is the same location of a mold outbreak six months ago. This is the fifth outbreak in the same location in six years, and the same technique of patching has been employed all five times; obviously, unsuccessfully.) I know that two reports have been generated on this newest incident. Let’s see what the response is from the engineering/maintenance departments.
SIX MONTHS AGO! SAME RADIATOR!
5) A report from last Tuesday, regarding more mold findings in a building previous known to have experienced the problem, came up in Building #6. A few months ago, this building had to be evacuated to check out mold complaints by employees who becoming ill. The hospital administration quickly sounded the “all clear” siren, and the employees returned to their workstations. Of all departments, this building houses the hospital’s Nursing Department, among others. This week’s findings involved ceiling tiles that were being replaced. Upon removal, the tiles were flipped over and a thick layer of black mold was covering the heretofore unseen side of the tiles. Apparently, only those tiles were replaced, and no further investigation conducted. I guess, if you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
These are but a few stories surrounding the gross mismanagement of this Medical Center. There are other stories that either border, or cross the line, on being criminal in nature. Veteran clients and employees alike are getting fed up with this whole scenario at the Northport VA Medical Center. More formal complaints are now making their way up the chain of command and into the Local and National Media, as they should. At some point The Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC is going to have to act on these complaints. The Congress is also going to have to be a player in this; they hold the purse strings.