Still NO Air Conditioning – Inhumane for staff as well as Patients

May 15, 2018

I have many complaints about Cornerstone Montgomery Mental Health Residential Program.
The main office is 6040 Southport Drive Bethesda Maryland
I currently live at Norbeck/Adrienne House, 2710 Norbeck Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906
Linda Leonard
Thank you for your response and letting Local BHA know about the problems at Cornerstone Montgomery. There were many cosmetic and sanitary improvements but the air conditioning is still not working. When I met with Abt, last week, who are conducting a survey for HUD, they asked questions for about 40 minutes including air conditioning and the two women commented on how hot it was in the room at Norbeck/Adrienne House that we met in and one commented that it must be esp. hard for me with COPD.
Cornerstone has had more than a year to have the air conditioning fixed, did any client/patients die last year. Cornerstone is going to have to hire a company experienced in fixing air conditioning since maintenance has not been able to do so over the past 2 weeks and BHA should not accept that Cornerstone is “working on it.” when Cornerstone is known for dragging things along until clients or any oversight that might have been involved give up and there has very, very rarely been any follow up on problems by Cornerstone or CSA.
The weekend was beastly hot almost unbearable to go into the kitchen and dining room where there are no windows. There have been several staffers who have quit, partly because even in the winter it was unbearably hot in the room that the staffers stay in with the cameras trained on the hall and dining room in this 24/7 facility.
I had to take off all my clothes everytime I went in my room and was reminded of the investigary series in the New York Times of LACK OF OVERSIGHT IN GROUP HOMES of a senior citizen age woman who was found dead, naked and curled up on the floor trying to escape the heat. I am 65 years old never liked to be naked in my room and it is especially hard with a roommate. Please investigate and at least have the air conditioning fixed not just endless promises month after month.
Partly because the most inexperienced are given Keith, the 20 year old patient at Norbeck House, who needs much more interaction and help, not to be without a Rehab Counselor. When Keith is very angry it affects the rest of the senior age clients and I feel very bad for him stalking around the house because he needs to be involved in a sport or something to help with the excess energy. I am afraid of being knocked down as he angrily strides through the house again and again.
Most of the others here are senior citizen age and have noticable problems walkin. Keith is supposed to have more interaction and help from the barely 24/7 staff. And the staff needs more training, because they are so short staffed a more experienced person from Arcola House came for a shift over the weekend and it is very hard for the very inexperienced and subs or part timers to deal with Keith and his bids for attention and actually Keith should have more attention from experienced staff which is not available since so many people have quit, partly because of the unbearable heat in the room they work in, even when the rest of the house was cold that room was uncomfortably hot just in the few minutes of my taking medication. Last winter there were space heaters, which were okay but the space air conditions don’t exist except for one in the dining room and it is not noticiably effective. No windows in kitchen/dining, no crossbreeze in the house. Windows in my room, no screens and will be a long process for maintenance to fix.
It is not right for the staff to be working in inhumane conditions of unbearable heat and many have quit recently to the point that the doors of the room that is supposed to be keeping an eye on clients 24/7 is shut and locked with no one there. If Cornerstone Montgomery tells clients forced to move here and oversight agencies that this is a 24/7 facility and it is not attention must be paid and oversight agencies need to come here with a thermometer or whatever technical thing would show that the heat here without air conditioning is illegal and inhumane.
Why was the entire experienced maintenance staff fired 2 years ago? They were very, very good in maintaining the 3 HUD houses I was in and unlike the supervisor of Bel Pre for 8 years, Keith ELLIS, who treated clients like being visited by THE JOKER hundreds of times over that 8 year period. they did their job and did it well. I believe Keith Ellis harrassment is why Peggy Wyss my former roommate had a stroke. She was in her 50s and kept religiously to the South Beach diet and was extremely upset last autumn when I talked to her at Southport, Peggy had endured 5 years of being tormented by Gerda Sejour who had now changed her name to Jehovah God, I was Peggy and Gerda’s roommate for 3 years, Gerda moved out when her HOC came through and then was allowed to come back at a different house and Peggy had 2 years of relief from Gerda but during the strange, sudden move about 2 years ago of 30 clients ostensibly to put the sickest clients in the roach ridden Bel Pre apartments, the townhouses I have lived in had no such problems, Keith moved Gerda and Peggy into the house at Banquo and in the art class Peggy who had looked so happy and said she was glad “That girl” was gone, looked in a state of shock. Keith Ellis thought it was funny to put gentle Peggy in with Gerda.
Last autumn, when I spoke with Peggy Wyss she was very, very upset that Keith Ellis had been hounding Peggy’s Aunt Sally about her problems cleaning which I am sure wasn’t true, Gerda used to make things up concerning cleaning about me and Peggy. I did not know about this place, Norbeck House, and since Keith Ellis mistakenly moved Linda Rieff in a house with me and Jeannie and who had been hospital for much more time when she moved in to Banquo than she had staying there and should have been placed at that time not later close to Bel Pre office in Bel Pre apartments, Linda Rieff at Valleywood Drive a number of times called the police on herself because she was self-destructive and Jeannie was terrified of her and the cuts on her face.
I told Peggy Wyss last autumn that if she was moved into an apartment, she would be free of Gerda, but Peggy asked if she would be free of Keith Ellis and I said no you would be still in Bel Pre. I learned some of this by seeing my former housemate who was allowed to stay at Banquo that I see sometimes at the store or Southport and was shocked and sickened last week when Melissa Willard told me that Peggy had a stroke, had been in rehab and was no longer SUPPORTED by CORNERSTONE MONTGOMERY. Peggy had excellent physical health, attended the 2 evening programs every week and worked VOLUNTEER so she was of no use to Keith Ellis and Cornerstone.
I asked Keith Ellis why he had not put Peggy Wyss in with me either at the time of the 30 client shuffle 3 years ago or after Jeanne left and Keith Ellis lied and insulted me by saying if Peggy moved in that I would bully her, I have never bullied anyone and got along very well with very gentle Peggy for 3 years. I was reminded how Keith Ellis ruined my relationship with a friend, Bonnie Keller, who wanted to be my friend but not be hounded by Keith Ellis to do what he wanted namely to go to an art class where I was grossly abused by Eric Gordon until I contacted former Congressman Murphey when Susan Wilcoff wanted to call it “just venting.” When she did meet with me and Mr. Ellis he lied and said we USED to not get along and I broke down and just kept saying “he won’t stop hounding me” Ms. Wilcoff was not interested in asking me follow up questions then or afterwards and I was frightened on the way home when Mr. Ellis kept turning to me very angrily and saying, “You think your funny, you think you’re real funny.” then pulled over in a neighborhood still far from home and talked a long time on his cellphone.
When I told Rebecca Garcia last week, who has received my letter/reports to then-Congressman Van Hollen for 8 years that in addition to moving from this place where I should never have been sent, I wanted Keith Ellis and Nicole Briscoe investigated and Ms. Garcia blew me off before I could say much about Ms. Briscoe stealing from me and from Medicaid by taking money for being my RC when she met with me less than 10 times in a year and a half.
Is there every any investigation into the deaths of Cornerstone client/patients and how does it compare with other agencies? The heat in the un-air conditioned Norbeck House is very hard on the young staff much less the elderly patients living here.
I nearly died last September and was hospitalized at Holy Cross, due to being hounded by Mr. Ellis in heavy, heavy cleaning for August visit of Joint Commission, they did not receive justification by the Commission, Ms. Briscoe refusing to get me ONE DOCUMENT so that I could recertify for cab coupons and buy groceries without fainting from the heat. Ms. Briscoe strung me along from May to October 2017, why is the so-called Compliance Officer, Marissa Gillum’s name and contact information not posted where other clients can see it and what happened to The Lighthouse to make the kind of thorough complaints that CSA should be doing. And the savage rage of housemate Pam Gueron who had her girlfriend Chris living in illegally for several months, her rage began BEFORE Chris started living at Valleywood and I saw Chris and at the end Pam in a video at Rainbow House shelter.
I was asked by Holy Cross if I was afraid of my caretakers and they made a report when I was better but the Home Health nurse was bamboozled by Keith Ellis and though she was not supposed to see me every time did and recommended I be placed in Norbeck House to save my life from Pam’s harrassment when I got home, including straddling my oxygen tube so I couldn’t get back to my bedroom after using the bathroom. And striking me with her upper arm and elbow when I tried to use the microwave and other kitchen games to numerous to mention here. Please investigate the very wealthy Pam Gueron, client, and Mr. Ellis and Ms. Briscoe telling Pam and Janet before me that they were hounding and harrassing my Primary Care Doctor Uma Polem who was furious that they were trying to bully her into putting me into a nursing home. Holy Cross said I would only be on oxygen a short time and I was and the 3 reason why I got so very ill unto death is above and should be investigated. A male client nearby Valleywood died during the cleaning for the Joint Commission house inspection.
Is there any oversight agency that has the will, ability and legal counsel and authority to do a real investigation and to stop the on-going crimes of Cornerstone Montgomery?
It cooled off briefly with the storm and I asked one of the staffers about the status on fixing the air conditioning and she said it was partly fixed and that it was now at 70 degrees. I don’t think this is true and Dept. of Health, Local BHA or one of the oversight agencies need to test how hot it is in the bedrooms and the kitchen and dining room and as it gets hotter to make sure the air conditioning has been fixed and is functioning which it is not at this point.
Until they fired the entire maintenance staff about 2 years ago, the maintenance of the HUD houses was excellent. The supervisor Joe died a few months before this happened either through stress or suicide. Maintenance was excellent and did their job which is more than I can say for supervisors esp. Keith Ellis who grossly bullied Gus and the maintenace department and management.
Richard and elderly man at Norbeck House was licking cream cheese or something off the floor. The other patients here would not be capable of initiating complaints and the staff would be too afraid as attested by things I have seen and heard and by the testimonies of current and former employees of Cornerstone in 5 pages on the glassdoors site and 2 pages on the indeed site, suggestions to management is something to “Beware of.” Certainly the retribution I have suffered in being placed at Norbeck House without reason attests to that and the lack of follow-up to my 8 years of complaints about Bel Pre supervisor Keith Ellis and treating clients like THE JOKER in the movies, just what the mentally ill need to recover and the lack of respect for Senator Van Hollen and former Congressman Patrick Murphy who is a psychologist and was trying to stop the dumping of mental patients from hospitals and trying for the coordination of the many mental health agencies and programs.
The Magnificat – St. Luke’s Gospel
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts
He has fed the hungry with good things
And the rich hath he sent empty away

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