Monday, February 17, 2014

My take of the Board Of Managers Minutes.

Howdy folks, Joe here. Decided to catch up on a few things.
I've been reading the board of managers meeting minutes. Thought I would share a few comments.

Starting with the October meeting, it is good to see that a qualified psychiatrist is now available to the veterans at the home. One has been sorely needed over the last few years, and I think, if one had been there a few of the guys in Dom unit could have gotten the help they needed instead of being discharged from the home.

Jim Dunn reports about a lot of unsubstantiated allegations but the report does not indicate what any of them are. Perhaps this information needs to be made public. I for one think Jim Dunn needs to spend some time talking to the veterans themselves, without other staff around.

Discussion of the new Olmstead plan sounds like a good idea, but should not be seen as the means to relieve the MI Dept of Veterans of its obligations to veterans in the Dorm unit.  Some times guys just need a time out to get their lives back together or to go thru medical conditions.

I found the treatment of Greg M by the board, by the minutes reports and via the posts on this blog, to be an on going issue. Greg informs us that its a thorn in his side and he is seeking legal remedy, because he has been left no choice in the matter.  Greg tells me that Earnest Meyers, Chairman of the board has lied to him twice, and should not be trusted.  That whole case, is a travesty if you ask me. Misunderstandings on both sides of the issue. How long is this guy going to be punished for making a mistake that any one of us could have made?

The Contractor that is building the new VA clinic over by METRO hospital has made a donation that Sara D is saying will be used to buy new recliners for the members. Is this a conflict of interest? Or some kind of bribe? Makes me wonder.. but either way I am sure the guys will appreciate the new recliners. 

November meeting minutes shows discussion on moving the homes record keeping to computers. This sounds like a good idea. I sincerely hope the new computer system will be able to "talk" to the VA computers, when it comes to sharing data about Veterans and their benefits, as well as medical records.

Apparently there was an issue with one of the members who ran the poppy program for the American Legion Auxiliary. They want to ban him from having any further contact with the program.

December minutes,  David Z, a non smoker, spoke up about the doors in the hallway by Kozy corners that lead to the outside smoking area, being locked "after hours" (meaning after 10pm) for members who want to go out for a smoke at night. His inquiry was forwarded to Sara D.

Window replacement on the 4th floor of the McKleish building has been moving forward. Good.  We were beginning to wonder if anything was going to be done to that floor.

Something about Abuse and Neglect report, that is now being sent to the state legislature. I think they were concerned about complaints by veterans not being addressed properly by the administration.
Maybe Greg M needs to file a complaint with the legislature about how the board has abused him. Well, if you can call banning him from the property for life, Abuse, which is what the board has basically done.

No meeting in January.

Ok.. well, I talked to several of the guys there in the last 2 weeks, as I was over at the clinic for my yearly checkup. Got the same ole complaints.. Food sucks, lack of activities, etc.. Nothings changed there.

This Olmstead project sounds like a good idea. The idea that the home provide information about alternatives to veterans to live in our communities instead of applying at the home.  But as I stated before, is the a way for the home to eliminate the Dorm unit? Other states have dorm units. Ohio for example brags about their veterans homes, and their Dorm Unit home in Sandusky Ohio.  And is this for ambulatory veterans or is this also for disabled veterans who can live without the need of daily nursing care?  I need more information on this to make a proper decision on it.

The sad fact is that Michigan still ranks last out of all the states in getting its veterans the benefits they have earned or deserve. True, the Mi Dept of Veteran Affairs is making improvements, but they have a long ways to go to catch up to the other states. I hope they keep up their efforts. I do see where they are getting some results and improving things for the vets.

It still bothers me however, how many of the guys in the Dom unit were treated. Many were discharged for their problems with alcohol, instead of being helped. Herman and Greg for their mental health issues, just to name a few.  Seemed to me, that for a while there, the home's solution was to simply get rid of the problem by discharging the veteran. Now that the home has a proper psychiatrist staff available, I hope they have discontinued that practice.

Overall I see improvements being made at the Michigan Veterans home in Grand Rapids, but I also see it still has a long way to go. Many, many more improvements need to be made. Let us hope they continue to do so.

See ya later - Joe.

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