Annie’s Testimony (Part III)


The third floor [at the Iroquois] is palliative care.  The patients are speechless, barely conscious and in wheelchairs.  And Lockwood is not the attending physician there.  I would have no one with whom to talk, but Lockwood would have gotten rid of me.  When I pressed Greer for details about the transfer, she would not speak.

When the ambulance crew was preparing me for transport, I asked Greer what would happen next.  She replied that was up to the hospital.  Then she said that all my belongings would be packed up.  I sarcastically proposed that she wait for the hospital’s decision before she packed my belongings.

In Greer’s final note [p20] she states that I had “increased agitation . . . loud outbursts . . . remains difficult . . .”  For the duration of my stay at the Iroquois, I had been asking for medication for exactly these symptoms.  Dr. Lockwood attends on the Alzheimer’s unit; presumably he knows how to medicate to tone down outbursts.  Why didn’t he do it for me?

The final words in my Iroquois Progress Notes are that I “will be offered snacks, activity cart.”

At the Crouse ER, I was interviewed, first, by Nurse Practitioner Jacquelyn Devito, who found my glucose to be 434 (normal is below 120).  In her examination [Crouse pg. 6] Ms Devito found me to be “quite reasonable and appropriate” and noted that the Iroquois would not accept me back.  I then was seen by Dr. Richard Steinmann, chief of the ER, who concurred [p 7].  He is also on vacation today.

Written on my discharge summary were the words:

–No acute psychiatric emergency.

–Not suicidal, homicidal or psychotic.  No necessity for emergent intervention.

Dr. Steinmann said that I was being returned to the Iroquois.  “Thank you very much,” I said.  Half an hour later, a social worker came in and told me that the Iroquois would not take me back.  Thereafter, POA Steve Wechsler, Director of Care Coordination Barbara Drapola, and endocrinologist Dr. Mickey Lebowitz reported various conversations with Lockwood and/or the Iroquois administration.  There was no forward movement on working out a plan to readmit me, hence this hearing.  Kicked out of my home and abandoned by the Iroquois, Crouse re-admitted me pending a safe discharge plan.  The Iroquois had not provided any discharge plan at all; in fact, they never admitted that I was being discharged.

I never saw or was given a Transfer/Discharge Notice.  When I asked POA Steve Wechsler, he told me that he had not received any such notice either.  At my request, Director Drapola said she had the hospital file searched page by page, and they did not have any Transfer/Discharge Notice.  We still have not received the Notice.

It was not until I was in conversation with the DOH investigator on Wednesday, July 24—two weeks after the Iroquois dumped me and only six days ago—that I found out that I had the right to appeal.  The DOH investigator said she would reach out to the Iroquois for a copy of the Transfer/Discharge Notice.  The first time I ever saw the document was after Judge Horan’s office faxed it to Dr. Wechsler’s office and he printed it and brought it to me in the hospital.

On Thursday, July 25, I received two extremely peculiar phone calls from Greer.  In the first call, she apparently was pumping me for information about my complaint to DOH.  In the second call, it appeared that she was trying to convince me voluntarily not to return to the Iroquois.

Yesterday I called and asked Greer if she would be attending this hearing.  She replied that she didn’t know because she hadn’t been “in that meeting.”  When I called back less than an hour later to specifically request that she be at the hearing, she said that she would be on vacation, and spun a long story about doing something with her son.  I did not believe her.  I think she was being gotten out of the way so she could not testify about her pivotal role between Lockwood and me in getting me out of the Iroquois.

Dr. Richard Lockwood did not do an admission examination, take a medical history or order lab work.  It appears that this negligence is a long-standing behavior to which the nurses have become accustomed and for which the administrators do not hold Lockwood accountable.

Lockwood lied and wrote a medical note that he had done these things.  My insurance is Medicare and Medicaid.  It appears that either Lockwood or the Iroquois is fraudulently billing the taxpayers for services that were not provided.

I needed medication for the psychiatric symptoms consequent to hyperglycemia.  I repeatedly asked to see Dr. Lockwood but he did not come.  I was denied treatment.

I filed a formal DOH nursing home complaint.  The day after the Iroquois found out, Lockwood came to see me.  Denied treatment for my symptoms, Lockwood and Greer used those symptoms to justify sending me out of the Iroquois without filing a Transfer/Discharge Notice with me or my Power of Attorney.  Once I was out the door, in a retaliatory action for having filed a DOH complaint, the Iroquois refused to let me back in.

It should be noted that Richard Lockwood and/or the Iroquois Nursing Home are currently under investigation by DOH for (at least) failure of the physician to provide required services, refusal of the nursing home to accept me back from the ER, and discharging me without a plan.  The NYS Attorney General’s Office, Health Care Bureau, is investigating Medicaid fraud and possible criminal nursing home abuse.

I want to return as soon as possible to the Iroquois Nursing Home, specifically to be re-placed on the Rehab Unit, because I was entirely happy with the care I was receiving from the nurse managers, nurses, aides and non-nursing staff, e.g., dietary, activities, spiritual care.  My problem only was with the doctor and top administrators.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in activism, advocacy, Fraud, Housing, Medicaid, Medical care, Medicare, Mental Illness & Health, Onondaga County, physician, Values and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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