Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grand Rapids veterans home CEO resigned because of 'road blocks and loopholes'

Watch 13 news article HERE 

LANSING, MICH. - After spending a little more than a year as the top leader at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, CEO Leslie Shanlian says she's had enough of the government bureaucracy hurting care for our most vulnerable veterans.
"It took me almost a year to get mattresses in for our members," Shanlian said.
Shanlian is leaving the state government, moving to the private sector. Her departure comes at a critical juncture for the employees and veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Shanlian is pulling for state lawmakers to pass legislation by the end of the year, which would create the "Michigan Veterans Facility Authority": a new governmental organization that would have broad powers to run the two veterans' homes in Michigan.
"It's more frustrating dealing with road blocks and loopholes to accomplish something for the veterans when you know it could be much more simply done with an authority or the private sector," Shanlian said.
More: Watchdog Team obtains scathing audit that shows numerous problems at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
Related: Inadequate care at GR veterans home amid shakeup; New questions regarding changes at GR Home for Veterans
Union leaders are telling us, though, they are very concerned about the creation of this authority. They believe if the new governmental entity is established, it would attempt to hire people without using civil service rules.  Labor leaders say they believe the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will be much smaller, potentially meaning as many as 200 layoffs.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and James Redford, the director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, both told WZZM layoffs are not on the table and the move to create the authority isn't meant to get rid of union workers.
"It's not in terms of busting up unions, it's about looking at an authority and best practices," Snyder told the Watchdog team.
"The bill that I've read doesn't say there are going to be layoffs," Redford said. "It doesn't say anything other than it's going to design a system to provide best possible and most responsive care to our veterans because this is our goal."
MVAA spokeswoman Suzanne Thelen told us it's likely there will be a reduction in the workforce at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, though, through attrition and retirements. She says the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will likely be a 120-bed facility after everything is changed.

To add some space, the state is hoping to build a new home in southeast Michigan.
The Senate fiscal committee indicated there have been estimates that a new facility could be built in Detroit housing 125 veterans for a cost of $82 million, approximately $53 million would come from the federal government. There are also plans to build a new facility in Grand Rapids at the current Home for Veterans site for a cost of $70 million, with $45 million coming from the federal government.
Lawmakers are racing to get the legislation done before the end of this term.  If they don't complete it, they'll need to start from scratch in 2017.
There's a pending deadline of April to get requests into the federal government for the money.
Shanlian said veterans shouldn't be scared of the changes coming because she says the facilities will be able to operate in a more patient-centered environment. As for the employees, she said high performers will always be retained.
"If you're a good employee, you have nothing to worry about," Shanlian said

Ed note: I told you she left for reasons of dealing with the bloated bureaucracy.. turns out I was right. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CEO Grand Rapids Home for Veterans resigns


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After only about a year on the job, top administrator for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has resigned.
A Thursday statement from Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency James Redford said Leslie Shanlian submitted her resignation Monday, effective Nov. 28.
In a separate statement, Shanlian said she resigned to take a job in the private sector.

She said that her time as CEO of the Michigan Veteran Health System was a “rewarding and humbling experience that allowed me to honor the life of my brother who was killed in combat in Iraq.”
Shanlian took the job in October 2015 and was also in charge of the veteran’s home in Marquette.
Only a few months later, the state released a scathing audit of the home that found the home falsely claimed they were checking on patients after being alerted of possible falls, failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse and neglect, took too long to fill prescriptions, and was not adequately staffed despite complaints. The complaints predated Shanlian’s tenure as CEO.
Redford credited Shanlian with developing a strong leadership team and “implementing evidence-based best practices that are making significant improvements in the care and quality of life in Michigan’s veterans homes.” He said she “provided the energy and focus needed to rapidly address and remedy the most serious findings” of the audit.
Brad Slagle will take over as the interim CEO of the Michigan Veteran Health Sytem. He is currently the chief operating officer of the veterans home in Marquette.

Shanlian provided this statement on her resignation:
“Serving as the first CEO of the Michigan Veteran Health System has been a privilege. I have enjoyed using my professional skills and experience to work with the very talented and dedicated staff of the MVHS and the two veterans homes to improve the quality of long term care for Michigan veterans for years to come. It has been a rewarding and humbling experience that allowed me to honor the life of my brother who was killed in combat in Iraq and I thank M.G. Vadnais and Director Redford for the opportunity to serve.
“The decision to accept a new opportunity in the private sector was a personal one. As CEO of the Health System, my job often required me to travel across the state several times a week and to Marquette several times a month. Healthcare is a very competitive field with many opportunities to serve our aging population and I have chosen an opportunity that allows me to lead and strengthen a long-term care community closer to my home and spend time with my children who are still in school. I will never forget the men and women who live in our state veterans homes and the duty we have to ensure that they receive the highest standard of care and as I transition will continue to support initiatives in the legislature that would create an authority allowing the state to expand and modernize long-term care to veterans.”
The statement from Redford:
“On Monday, Leslie Shanlian informed M.G Vadnais and me that she has accepted a job in the private sector and resigned as CEO of the Michigan Veteran Health System, effective November 28, 2016.
“Leslie was appointed CEO in October 2015 and charged with the responsibility of establishing the Michigan Veteran Health System which oversees the state’s two veteran’s homes and ensuring one coordinated set of policies and procedures govern the day-to-day operations at both the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. The two homes provide quality, long-term care to Michigan citizens who have served in the military and their dependents.
“During her tenure with MVHS, Shanlian is credited with developing and leading a team of 4 vice presidents who found and are implementing national best practices in the areas of nursing, finance, social work and healthcare management. Under her leadership and direction, the system’s two COOs and staff have focused on laying the groundwork for CMS certification, creating a culture of patient-centered care, and implementing evidence-based best practices that are making significant improvements in the care and quality of life in Michigan’s veterans homes. Following an Office of the Auditor General audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans released in February 3016, Leslie provided the energy and focus needed to rapidly address and remedy the most serious findings prior to commencement of a second audit 6 months later.
“Leslie has built a strong leadership team and provided the energy, experience and enthusiasm needed to make substantial improvement in how we care for veterans in Michigan,” said James Robert Redford, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. “Leslie tapped into her knowledge of CMS standards and best practices as well as leveraging her extensive network to rapidly correct deficiencies at the Grand Rapids Home, improve the financial and business operations of both homes and set high standards for care across the Health System that will lay the foundation for successful operation and expansion of Michigan Veterans Homes in the future,” Redford continued, “we thank her for her service to the veterans community.”


BULL!  I am putting money on the fact that she got tired of having to deal with MVAA's BULLSH*T. More than once I have heard her and Scott say they are constantly fighting with the leadership at MVAA who are preventing them from doing the job they were hired to do.

Well folks, we are back to square 1.  The vets at the home just got SCREWED again..

OH, FYI.. population at the home is less than 400, from what used to be a 750 person facility. And they don't even have the home in Detroit started yet.

So once again, Michigan is shafting its veterans.. Thank you Gubinor Snyder.

I just hope I am wrong about this..