Emails to Md Board of Licensure, Sen. Collins, Deputy Dir Operations BHA

George Camela, Maryland Board of Licensure sent today with some edits below:

Thank you Mr. Carmela for helping. Portable air conditioning has been installed in my room and I believe all of the rooms. I visited the place that Julianne Tortalano supervisor of Norbeck asked if I wanted to move to called Petitt House on Parkland Road. It looks good, I will have my own room again and it is in the basement with a bathroom and the staff office is very close to the kitchen and laundry so the years of other clients blocking these necessary facilities would be harder for any client to monopolise and harrass other clients.

I am moving tomorrow and have not been given any help with the move. Not even boxes. There is not a lot to do since I never unpacked most of the art supplies that I managed to salvage from the last HUD house that I was in on Valleywood with the most vicious housemate Pam Gueron who had her friend who was living at Rainbow, Chris and Pam are on a video at Rainbow Shelter. I cannot prove that Chris was illegally living in a HUD house, it was taken seriously at first by Keith Ellis, supervisor Bel Pre but then I was accused of lying. The weeks that Chris lived illegally at Valleywood, Chris was in no way signed up with Cornerstone cannot be proved but the fact that the long amount of time she spent living illegally in Pam Gueron’s room could be somewhat verified by Rainbow Shelter if they keep records of the names of clients and the dates they lived there and any long absences.

I am missing many of very necessary art supplies that were stolen from me by Keith Ellis. My current Rehab Counselor made a list of the missing supplies and I had taken photos before I was forced to move a month after I got home from a week at Holy Cross which their records will show I nearly died. Partly because of the vicious harrassment by Pam Gureron, I wrote a long email to Senator Van Hollen last June 2017 and I am sure he sent it to CSA and Cornerstone. I have given him permission in the past to contact any agencies that might help. Senator Van Hollen is very busy fighting the tax cuts and other abominations and the caseworker he was kind enough to assign me, Suzanne Loftjelm is no longer with his office.

About 2 weeks ago, in response to my complaint to HUD about 2 months ago, a contractor called Abt came to Norbeck House to interview me for about 45 minutes on my experiences in the 3 HUD houses that I have lived in for about 9 years about 8 of them mismanaged by Keith Ellis whom I have complained is a bully and abusive, apart from meetings with administration, nothing was done. A COO I met with about 3 years ago said she was trying to change the Agency culture. Unfortunately she did not succeed. The only time I have met with therapists in the last 6 months it has been to do Rehab plans, twice and once with Karen Smith who was leaving and tried to get me into an HUI apartment on my own, she said she had placed 5 clients in very nice apartments. Rebecca Garcia said HUI does not have individual apartments.

I have not met all of the clients at Pettit House but it looks like a good choice but the problems for years with Vocational Rehab has been not having safe housing because of other clients who had severe somatic illnesses and were like me, alternately ignored and abused by Mr. Ellis and his staff. Now, my art supplies have been stolen. Alex Smith went with me once to Valleywood but Pam Gueron came into the spare room I was using for my art with a long desk and lamp and file cabinet. Pam was using my bedroom next to the room I did my art in which was now piled with huge plastic boxes of even more of Pam’s hoarded wealth. Both rooms were stacked to the ceiling including the shower bench which other housemate Janet needed too since she was constantly falling and calling 911 to help her get up since Pam and I together could not lift her. Pam came in, I asked her to leave while I was trying to find my art supplies including a white board and most of my oils and acrylics without which I cannot finish the 2 large paintings I had hoped to show at local gymnastic studios, in Reston, I received offers of commissions to paint children of the parents who saw the larger works. I could have been and have tried desperately to do so again but the mismanagement and outrageous bullying by Keith Elllis supervisor no one ever followed up “letting me vent.

Pam refused to leave stating she was afraid I might steal something, I walked out the back door and went to sit in Alex’s car. Pam almost stole my life with her year long viciousness and refusal to let me use the kitchen or laundry without great and varying harrassment and screaming.

I would like to look for my art supplies if they still exist at Valleywood with no more harrassment from Pam Gueron.

Mr. Carmela, you said in your first letter that it would be a long process and I believe that Pam Gueron should be investigated along with Keith Ellis. This client who has been following me around, Keith Garvey, needs attention from the staff, he is starved for attention so much so that before his mutilating his head before he went to Crises Center for a week Keith Garvey had spent weeks prior to this shaving his head which had deep gouges which Crises Center and the hospital they sent him to should have taken notes on. Before this time, staff ignored his head with bloody gouges for weeks, I told Rebecca Garcia that Keith Garvey should not have a straight razor or whatever he was mutilating himself with, Alex Smith said Mr. Garvey needed to shave and I said that he could shave with a plastic razor which in no way was capable of doing the bloody gouges to his head.

Mr. Garvey and his mother who calls sometimes are paying for Mr. Garvey to have weekly meetings with a staffer which must not have been done for months. I don’t think he would get this bad if someone paid attention to him so he doesn’t have to mutilate himself day after day so that scabs don’t have time to form. Last week I asked Alex Smith who Mr. Garvey’s RC was, she said Natavia, I requested another day that Natavia spend some time with him, Natavia said she wasn’t his RC and that she thought Alex was, I asked her who was Mr. Garvey’s RC was since Alex also said it wasn’t her, she said Hope who only stayed for a short time and she was not pleased with the attitude to clients though Alex and Natavia are polite there is very little interaction with clients. I said it was not right to give the most difficult patient to someone just hired and asked who Mr. Garvey’s RC was before Hope, Natavia said, Wilhemina, I said who is Wilhemina? There are no names of staff along with contact for the supervisor Julianne, When Melissa Jacobs was supervisor, in compliance with the Patients’ Rights to know who is taking care of you first and last name of staffers were on the wall along with her name and number and Barry Friedman’s whose job is now held by Nicole Burke-Tumi. Keith Ellis would laugh in my face when I asked him repeatedly at the HUD house on Banquo Terrace to post the names of staff and his supervisor. The house at Valleywood was also missing this information along with no information on calling HUD which is also required.

When I was briefly mad at Dr. Parveen because she yielded to Keith Ellis lies and I am sure constant hounding to put me in Norbeck House, I asked for a new psychiatrist, I saw Dr. Krishnan once and the second time she wasn’t there, she had an emergency with her daughter and would not be back until mid-June, I asked when Dr. Krishnan left and the receptionist said a week ago. No one called Alex or myself to cancel this appointment. I wanted to continue with Paula Weiss as my therapist but Paula said that the rule was that if you transferred your psychiatrist you had to transfer your therapist to Taft. Now I have no one, I met with David Peet once but he just did the PRP and said that a new hire Brooke would be my therapist, when I asked when, he was evasive, that was more than a month ago and he asked if I wanted to go back to Dr. Parveen, I said yes but he did not mention Dr. Krishnan had left for an extended period and as I said no one called to let me know so I went all the way to Taft with a temp staffer who heard the exchange. Alex called David Peet who said Dr. Parveen only works 2 days a week so I couldn’t see her and Alex insists that David is my therapist.

The place I am moving is closer to Southport and both Dr. Parveen and Paula have been very kind and supportive for over 8 years. If possible I would like to see either or both again, but at any rate, I should not have gone so long without a therapist and psychiatrist and I wonder if that is Mr. Garvey’s experience also. Keith Ellis was always saying he was short staffed but there are reasons beyond low pay which you can read on Glassdoors and Indeed site of former and current employees of Cornerstone Montgomery. A 24/7 facility SHOULD HAVE HIGHLY TRAINED PERSONEL OR AT LEAST ENOUGH PERSONNEL and the reasons for severe understaffing here need to be investigated.

I have been reading a 5 part series on abuse of residents by not only staff buy other residents in nursing homes and the fact that the oversight agencies do not have the legal expertise to required basic safety and also that the District Attorney is taking a strong stand against nursing homes who allow gross abuse of clients.

I am asking the Maryland Board of Licensure for a thorough audit and investigation of Cornerstone Montgomery Residential Program that I have suffered from for almost 9 years. I believe I could have gone on to independent living and done something worthwhile with my art if not for textbook mismanagement, fraud, abuse and waste.

Rebecca Garcia brushed me off when I tried to request an investigation of the clients who are suffering and the ones who have died due to Mr. Ellis, neglect, bullying Melissa Willard a former housemate told me last week that a very gentle former housemate Peggy Wyss had a stroke and was no longer in the program. The last time I saw Peggy at Southport she told me about her anguish at Mr. Ellis hounding her 90 year old Aunt Sally, Peggy’s only friend, that Peggy didn’t clean house well enough and would be put in a lower program

I believe that local authorities should do the kind of thorough interview with set questions that Abt did for HUD, at the end though they had emphasized confidentiality at the beginning, one of the more experienced interviewers said that HUD phone line was on the $40 gift card for participating. I said that I had problems hearing on the phone, although I did not lose my hearing aids in the forced move in October 2017, I did lose the small machine around my neck which turned up the hearing aids and also the audiologist Patricia Randolph had tried to find BlueTooth on my old phone which did not have it, my new cellphone does have Blue Tooth but a necessary part of the hearing aids was also stolen by Mr. Ellis who said onll to pack my clothes and that I could get the rest later. Within an hour of coming home from the hospital Mr. Ellis started pressuring me to clean for the CSA October inspection while we were waiting for the oxygen truck. I had gotten so ill when Mr. Ellis pressured me to scrub and scrub rust with Tilex very heavy cleaner esp for someone with respiratory problems last August 2017 and the next day the woman from the Joint Commission noted how ill I looked and Cornerstone did not receive validation from Joint Commission, they told me to contact CAFR.

Also the Compliance Officer’s name and number along with The Lighthouse should be posted in lobbies where clients who are capable of making a complaint on their own behalf or that of other clients who are helpless being neglected and wandering and starving and screamed at. I know these are hard times but the things that I have experienced and seen for almost a decade are sinful and immoral and I believe illegal if someone with authority would investigate and prosecute.

Sincerely,

Linda Leonard

“The measures [in the budget bill] are so weak and watered down — that they may actually have moved the state backwards.”

Sen. Karin Housley, chairwoman of the Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, sounded a more upbeat tone, saying those provisions contained more than 70 pages of new consumer protections.

http://www.startribune.com/push-to-reform-minnesota-s-flawed-system-for-protecting-seniors-falls-short-at-capitol/483278081/
http://www.startribune.com/senior-home-residents-are-abused-and-ignored-across-minnesota/450623913/
I have had both a grandmother and an physically assaulted in Nursing Homes in the St. Paul Area. This article hits home like a punch in the stomach. I tried to help my parents complain and nothing, literally nothing was done.
Ironically, I was employed by a business selling products to nursing homes. And you know what, after meeting and interacting with their nurses and administrators I believe this business is incredibly difficult to operate. You can be an administrator and have a 4 or 5 star home and it can be ruined overnight by one bad hire.
I wish my Uncle could have had an alternative. He had a cardiac virus that debilitated him. He had recovered, then he breaks his leg in the nursing home with no explanation. two weeks later, he is dead. Now, I don’t even know where to go with this. This home in Como Park refused to speak to my dad and would only deal with one family member. Of course, that family member would not agree with my dad to hire an attorney. So, the nursing home skates off with zero culpability.
———————–
The state’s failure to issue discipline in such incidents is the rule rather than the exception, according to records reviewed by the Star Tribune. Even when the state substantiates abuse, it frequently blames an individual employee, not a breakdown in the facility’s management. The state has revoked the licenses of only two senior care homes in the past five years.
“Our current staff is really cracking under the pressure of our current caseload,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Daniel Pollock, in testimony this spring before lawmakers, who approved a small increase in the agency’s investigative budget.
Given the high volume of allegations filed each year, the department uses a triage system to sift through complaints and investigate the most serious cases first. Yet for two consecutive years, federal auditors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have cited Minnesota for incorrectly categorizing complaints as non-urgent, even when they involved severe abuse. The agency also failed to notify victims of their findings, the auditors said.
In recent audits obtained by the Star Tribune through public-records requests, CMS uncovered nearly two dozen allegations of serious harm and criminal abuse that were received but never investigated by the Health Department.
————-
Senator Susan Collins is on a Special Committee on Aging and I hope that there will be protections for the aging population in Mental Health Residences which are being used as nursing homes. Many patient/clients have died from forced heavy heavy cleaning someone needs to look at why the people actually supposedly interacting with patients which is the reason for the funding get paid enough and if middle and upper management and the Board of Directors are misusing funds for dinners and weeky luxury food at meetings there was10 times the amount of food needed last Christmas even with Chadwich House at the party before it burned, I was stunned but thought at least we will have some nice prepared food for a week, next day every scrap was gone. I have seen staffers taking home what looked like catered food from Keith Ellis partys for clients. There needs to be an audit for this as well. One of the people working with St. Luke’s Cornerstone lobbyists an Asian American woman named Ivan, I heard her on a field trip describe on and on and on a huge party for lobbyists concentrating on food and drinks and asking Matt if he wanted to come, he shook his head but looked fascinated. No one engaged with clients, if any asked a question, disrespectful response. That was the only field trip I went on.
I would like to know where to find information on the lobbyists and who to contact in Congress about the contempt for clients. We were going to the Botanical Gardens and Ivan pointed to a tall building and told Matt the driver it was where she worked, I asked her if she worked for St. Lukes and she sqealed NO then said sort of, she was extremely snobbish and like Matt ignored clients, I think her role was to help with clients on a field trip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s