Sunday, May 25, 2014

Commentary that is Garbage, will not be approved for posting.

Anonymous has left a new comment:

" Post yours. Then follow the link, do your research, and post the truth. Not what you THINK is the truth. If you want people to start posting their real names, why don't YOU post all the comments that people post, not just the ones that "support" your argument. Facilitate real discussion, not just one sided narrow minded views.


"This blog is written by a man who needed help when he fell flat on his face. Then he found help, and the people who helped him are victims of his one sided opinions. You're looking the gift horse in the mouth.

 "  Maybe it's just you.


Have you seen the TV Series they did on the Kent County Prison? It was called Lock down: Grand Rapids. They showed the food being served, and I'd say the quality was debatable. Some of it certainly looked to be of poor quality."

The reason these comments have not been published, is that they contribute nothing to this blog. They are intended to start arguments, not discussions.

As for the 1st comment. I suggest the author go live at the Vets home then comment in about 8 months, if they can last that long.Furthermore notice the writer says "support your argument". Proof of lack of reading skills. No one is arguing here, only you, which is why most of your comments have not been posted. They are garbage, are full of personal attacks, and are a waste of my time and Joe's time.  

I am not here to do research. I am not a professional. I don't have to get it perfect. Anyone with half a brain knows a blog is by its nature a biased source of information or entertainment depending on the purpose of the blog.  Now since the author of this original comment offers no first hand testimony to counter the reports posted here, the original posts stand as factual as reported. 

As for the 2nd and 3rd comments, the commenter has attacked one of  authors of this blog, when this blog is about many veterans at the home, not just one. So this is a personal attack and I would not normally allow such garbage to be posted.

The 4th Comment, has nothing to do with the subject. Prison food is not the same as Kent County Jail Food. 2 different groups. That is why that comment was not published. It shows the commentator has reading comprehension deficiencies.

But then again, they just were.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Michigan Wasting taxpayer money on an UNQUALIFIED Service Represenative at the Vets Home.

Recently it was posted to this forum, that a Full time service officer was hired by the state, to help the veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, with their VA claims.

At a recent Town hall meeting held at the Neal Fonger VFW post, this same individual admitted he was not fully qualified to be a service officer.  Yet this man works full time doing who knows what, and is getting paid to do nothing, more or less.  And they think the VA has problems? This is defrauding the taxpayers, if you ask me.

Rich Strob, a disabled veteran and member of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans)  who is a qualified service officer, was acting part time as the homes service officer. He was paid 50 bucks or so for fuel expenses for driving to the home. The home decided since they already had a service representative, they didn't need 2, so they took the Office chair out of the Service office, leaving a standard chair. So you can imagine a 1 legged man, trying to move a standard chair around an office?

Well, in truth they don't even have 1 service officer. Rich is a volunteer. And a registered Service officer with the DAV.  And the other guy isn't even qualified yet..  (but may be now, finally).

Great way to help our veterans, eh? And what a way to waste taxpayer money.. Most places hire guys AFTER they become qualified.. Isn't that fraud too?

Only at the Michigan Veterans home in Grand rapids, do they hire Top administrators and service representatives that are not even qualified for the jobs they hold.

Updated 5 June 2014

US Congressman holds "listen to the Vet's" meeting at GR VA Clinic

The VA Clinic in Grand Rapids is located right next to the Michigan Veterans home, called the Grand Rapids home for veterans.  Friday, the VAC held a little Session with one of the US Congressional  Representatives to hear the veterans concerns. 
At the VA Clinic, Congressman Huizenga held a "listen to the vets" session on Friday.
And the vets voiced their disapproval of the managing of the VA, and long wait times and their frustration.

Huizenga said it was a problem of communication and that the VA's budget had increased by billions of dollars over the last 4 years.. Veterans said it was and still is, poor management.

UPDATE: 21 May. Corrected title of Mr. Huizenga from State Rep to US Congress.
Thanks for the correction Mr. anonymous commenter.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vets home is still over drugging veterans without proper medical or legal oversight.

From the office of the Michigan department of of the Auditor General Report April 2013.
Page 15. The Home has been found guilty of not providing proper mental health supervision as required by federal law since the home takes federal money to pay for the care of the veterans.

Nor has the home had an on staff psychiatrist since August 2011. Yet the home continues to administer drugs (medications) that require a licensed Psychiatrist. In fact, according to this audit, the home on average has been giving these drugs to 81 percent of its 509 veterans.

And that the home administered anti psychotic drugs to 41 percent of its 509 members, verses 18 percent in other nursing homes in Michigan. And they did this without proper medical attention.

In short, they are over drugging the veterans. And this we already knew. But it still goes on.

According to this report, the home was supposed to reduce the amount of medication over time, due to lack of properly trained and certified medical personnel, but the home did not. 

The home is STILL over drugging its veterans. THIS MUST STOP. It is KILLING veterans.

One veteran stopped taking the drug Depakote. This was unbeknown to the staff. Instead of swallowing it, he spit it out in his bathroom. At his Care Conference in March, all those in attendance commended him on how well behaved he had been, referring to the drug and how good it was working. He recently was hospitalized because of other issues and it became known that this drug wasn't in his system! In other words, his improved behavior was because he was not taking the drug. And because he was not taking it, they are now punishing him, by forcing him to take a drug he does not need.  NOW, they are forcing him to take the drug, mixing it with applesauce. He has NO CHOICE now. To further punish him, they stopped giving him the drug Baclofen. Without this drug, this veteran has to deal with spasticity and the inability to move his legs. He needs help getting out of bed. He needs help getting to his chair. Every move he makes is very painful. I did some research on this drug Depakote. I am including it here for your reference. This veteran is suffering from many of the side effects. The big one is dementia. This veteran suffers from EVERYONE of the common side effects in one form or another. He has been diagnosed with COPD. Why give him a drug that causes difficult or labored breathing? We can all understand why they want the veteran to take a drug that causes depersonalization. This kind of "Care" is a criminal act and should be investigated and prosecuted.

Learn about the potential side effects of Depakote (divalproex sodium). Includes common and rare side effects information for consumers and healthcare professionals.

Another man is fighting the administration who is trying to force a guardian upon him, because he will not take drugs for something that runs in his family, which he is not showing any signs of having. The drug makes him disorientated and since is not showing signs of the illness, he figures he should not have to take the drug.  The home disagrees, and is trying get the state government to impose a guardian upon the man, (making him a slave and taking away his freedom), so that the guardian can force him to take the drugs. This just isn't right.  The guy found out the home had been secretly talking to his wife about getting a guardian for 6 months.. He is extremely upset about this, as he should be.

This is the "quality" care Deputy Director James Dunn keeps telling Michigan Government that our veterans are getting..

Friday, May 9, 2014

Area Apartment Complexes discriminating against Hud Vash, section 8 housing.

News for Veterans.

It is becoming quite apparent that a group of Apartment complexes located on the NW part of the city are now discriminating against Section 8 housing.

What started as a new ownership at one location, resulted in the new owners refusing to accept new section 8 or HUD VASH housing applicants. Those already at the location were allowed to renew their lease, but not move into other apartments, even if those apartments were less costly.

THEN at a veterans meeting at the Outreach office, it was discovered that several veterans had tried to relocate to other complexes and they too have adopted a no section 8 policy.

A group of veterans will be visiting their Federal congressmen next week, and are thinking of filing a joint complaint.

Those veterans in the Dorm unit at the veterans home who need the section 8 or HUD VASH vouchers to be able to leave the home, will find it more difficult to find proper housing due to this discrimination..

At my current location there are over 20 veterans using the HUD VASH program, which is funded by the VA but administered thru the HUD office. Most of us are disabled in one way or another. This is not good news for veterans.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Jim Dunn, Deputy Director Michigan Dept Veteran Affairs Misrepresents the truth again.

Part of this story:  "  In April of 2013, the commission rejected union appeals and upheld the privatization of about 150 nursing aide jobs at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans at an estimated savings of $4 million a year.

At the 2013 hearing, veterans and state workers testified that more than 600 veterans who live at the home were endangered by low staffing levels and inadequate care under the contractor, J2S Group. The contract workers were paid about $10 an hour, roughly half what the state workers were paid, and J2S had problems filling full-time positions and retaining employees, officials confirmed.

But at today’s hearing, Jim Dunn, deputy director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said early problems have cleared up. He cited a drop in citations during federal inspections, down to two in 2013 from more than 20 citations in recent years."

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE, again James Dunn.You don't have a CLUE as to whats going on at the home because you never walk its halls nor talk to the veterans who live there. 

Sorry Jim but I call a skunk a skunk, a cheat a cheat, and a winner a winner. In this case I call LIAR.

The home violated the law with over drugging of  veterans, without proper qualified medical supervision. They have double the rate of veterans on psychotropic drugs compared to other retirement homes in Michigan. With out proper medical supervision the home was supposed to REDUCE the amount of medication by 10 percent - they INCREASED IT.

Many guys do not complain because they are so drugged up they cannot. The others do not out of fear of retaliation by staff - which we have documented here happening many times. 

While many J2S workers are good people there are still enough who should never have been assigned to the home. Like some of the past union workers, they just get shuffled around to other units until they exhaust all of their options, and only then do they get dismissed. And if 1 veterans complains, its just 1 veteran. But 5, 10, 20, and only then does the staff (including Gary Davis) get off its lazy arse and actually look into the problem.

Also reducing the number of available beds down from 600 to 440 does make it easier for the staff.. but problems still exist and the home is still doing its best to avoid them or allowing them to get any media attention.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Board of Managers Minutes Not reflecting what happens at the meetings.

I am getting comments from 8 people so far, who claim they have gone to Board meetings, and then read that months posted Minuets.

All say that many things that are being said at the meetings, are not being reported. Descending opinions are not being posted. People who object, or whose opinions are in opposition to those of the board, or those who raise concerns are not being mentioned in the minuets.

One person wrote that he believes the Minutes posted should cover and report all things that happen at the meeting. Not necessarily word for word, but at least a short synopsis of what happens as each item is brought up for discussion.

All said too much information that would be of interest to the general public, is being left out because it might reflect negatively on the administration or board.

Therefore I encourage people to attend these "open" meetings to find out for themselves.

Also I got a complaint that the board has changed the Date for the May meeting. According to the rules they are supposed to give 30 days notice and they have not.

I just mark that up as further proof that the home has a double standard and rules are only advisory items for the administration and board members.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Visit to the Home on Saturday, Rumor mill news

This past Saturday was a good day for me. Finally a day off from climbing towers so I went over to the vets home to visit friends. Got some interesting feed back from the guys there.

So here we go with my contribution to the Rumor Mill news portion of this blog.

Apparently something has happened to Board of Managers Chairman Earnest Meyers who has had his ego put in check. Reports are he got his butt chewed out on 3 occasions.

Also it is being reported that most if not all board members have made it clear that they wish to be dismissed from their duties as soon as replacements can be found. That reminds me of Rats fleeing a sinking ship.

Also, the home now has a full time service officer to help the veterans get their benefits from the VA.

Someone said that the VA has caught the home diverting funds, and now has a full time person there to oversee the usage of VA funding.  WOW. Not that we didn't already know this was happening.

Theft of personal property of veterans is still an on going issue, and that some of the thievery  is being done by fellow veterans. Nothing worse than a thief.

There are 2 documented cases of thievery, and the local police will NOT get involved, even though the home is in their jurisdiction. Guess the State police will have to be called in.

I talked to Greg M yesterday. His lawyer has filed another appeal with the board to get him approved to be able to return to the property to visit friends and go to Guitars for Veterans. Apparently he has even accepted the idea of a probationary period. We will see what happens.

Incidentally, Greg spent a weekend at Spectrum ER unit recently. The bacterial infection he has been fighting for over 2 years came very close to putting him into septic shock. He had an overnight stay while they pumped him full of liquid antibiotics. He is doing ok now, but still feels like hes been ran over by a truck. He says he finally gets to see his new Primary care person, a new PA that they hired recently for his yearly check up - that is 6 months over due, at the clinic next door to the home.

Ed M., who got kicked out of every nursing unit, then sent to the Dom unit has been kicked out of the home for drinking. This is the guy who parked his mothers car at the chapel entrance, and who is indirectly responsible for getting Greg kicked out, and who then continued to park the car there for the last 2 winters, which serves as proof of the double standard the home imposes on Veterans who live there.  Upon hearing of his discharge, many veterans cheered. But some got angry as it is becoming clear that Ed allegedly owes a lot of veterans money he has borrowed but never paid back.
This is why the home has a policy that tells veterans not to loan money to other veterans.

The guys say the food has not improved yet. Is still being served darned near at room temperature, and the grounds crew finally took down the smoking tent area under the pavilion.

Other than that, its the same ole same ole at the home..

Enjoyed a few games of pool in Kozy Corners, took 3 friends out to lunch, and had a good visit.

That is all for now.. will post more next time I get to the home for another visit. - Joe.