Us vs. St. Joseph’s Inpatient Psychiatry

News from MC, a fellow victim:
This is almost a full year later [after ] and I was just recently released from the 3-6 unit [St. Joseph’s Hospital, inpatient psychiatry]. Nothing has changed from what you wrote other than they do scan the ID bracelets. Staff has had confrontations with patients and a housekeeping lady even threatened a patient when she inquired who cleans the rooms. I have constantly asked for my room to be cleaned and nothing was done about it.

I wasn’t on any meds and I was thrown up there on a Wednesday and thought I was going to be discharged on a Friday. Unfortunately, my attending was Dr. Kou, who took no time to read my chart and called me a liar because of something that was put in my medical record which was inaccurate. She caused me a lot of distress and she told me she wanted to keep me because she didn’t know me. What sense does that make? They bullied me into not calling the mental hygiene law attorney (which I did) and said I couldn’t write a written statement indicating the inaccuracy.

On my day of discharge, my mother complained of that inaccuracy and she backtracked and said it was just a note by a NP and not something actually in my record. She called me a liar when she, in fact, lied to me. My safety was seriously at risk. People smoke on the units. Staff and security use their cellphones on the floor and could easily take pictures of us if they wanted to. The rooms are still filthy as hell with urine and fecal matter encrusted along the walls. I’m sure your vomit is still there, LOL. Our bathroom had blood all over it.

They discharged me on a Monday because my insurance only covered 7 days for me to be at that hospital (I was admitted on a Monday in the ER). Dr. Kou has a reputation for “collecting rent money.” She is not a good doctor at all. She doesn’t listen to what you have to say and is beyond rude. You have to walk-and-talk with her. If you or any of your loved ones are assigned under her care TRANSFER immediately!

My first night there they almost refused me dinner until my Mom called them screaming because she works in a hospital and knows they can go and get a key to the kitchen. There’s a hefty lady there with bangs who works evening and nights and she was the one that refused me dinner. I’m on a special diet and can only eat certain things.

It was the worst experience of my life. I was offered no help whatsoever. I had to be persistent and annoy the nurses for hours upon hours just to talk to someone. Lots of lies and deflection amongst the staff. I have already called lots of places with my complaints and I won’t stop until something is done about it. I almost feel like I want to put a lawsuit on them, mostly Dr. Kou for causing all that distress and pain. I probably will look into that and see what my options are but it’s my word against theirs and they are the biggest dang liars ever. They lie, lie, lie to cover their butts.

Dear MC: I hear you and you are right. Fight against this bastardization of psychiatric “treatment!”

Please file complaints with the—
• New York State Dept. of Health for issues pertinent to housekeeping and the physical environment;
• NYS Office of Mental Health for issues relative to psychiatric treatment. Were you treated with medications, group therapy, individual therapy?
• NYS Commission on Quality of Care has been subsumed by the Justice Center, on line at
• NYS DOH Office of Professional Medical Conduct. File against Dr. Roger Levine and Dr. Kou. Unit 3-6 is a terrible place because of them; hold them accountable;
• St. Joseph’s Hospital for grossly substandard “care.” Filing against them is a necessary technicality, but they will do nothing. They know 3-6 is bad and don’t care.

At each step in your filing of complaints (by the way, you are an excellent writer and your competence and clarity will be effective) please cite all the blogs I posted about this. Make it clear that nothing has gotten better. All complaints should be filed in writing; a written complaint is more accurate and gets more attention.

Then file a written compliant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights Tell them that you have been discriminated against on the basis of disability. If you were not diagnosed as mentally ill then you would not have been forced to suffer as you did. Again, use all my relevant blogs and note that, a year later, nothing has changed. The state has not resolved any of the problems therefore the federal government needs to take action. Every time you file a complaint, send a copy to St. Joseph’s President Kathryn Howe Ruscitto. Let her know just how much trouble you are raining down on her. She can remove Levine and Kou, and until they are gone, nothing will change on Unit 3-6.

Good luck and Godspeed in your work. You are engaged in a righteous fight for compassionate care. St. Joseph’s is a Catholic hospital and this mistreatment is a violation of Christ’s mission. Go ahead and send a copy of the complaints to the Pope; I hear he’s a good fellow who doesn’t put up with this abuse. Research the Sisters of St. Francis and find out which spiritual leader is over President Ruscitto.

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
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2 Responses to Us vs. St. Joseph’s Inpatient Psychiatry

  1. dee says:

    Maybe you should both work there for a while. O you don’t work. But you have enough energy to cause trouble and name call. You are disgusting

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