• Time to step up on Veterans Home
    December 27,2012
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    After several years of turmoil, the near-loss of Medicare approval, rock-bottom staff morale and, now, enhanced scrutiny from the state, isn’t it time that someone in the chain of command stepped up and took some responsibility for the Vermont Veterans Home?

    This situation is simply detrimental to the well-being of both the veterans who reside there and the facility itself. Surely, the drumbeat of bad news is not good for attracting new residents.

    The caregivers say it’s staffing and overwork from mandatory overtime. The administration says the problem is scheduling and “call outs,” but never explains what “call outs” means. Are they talking about last-minute call outs, people formally out on disability, people on suspension, all of the foregoing, what? Are administration “call out” figures based only on caregivers, or do they include other employees like kitchen and maintenance staff?

    If the trustees and the community care enough, we could find out which it is and fix it. The current oversight system clearly is not working. Let’s at least start with a community advisory board to ensure that all the important information, not just selected items, gets to the people who oversee the Vets Home.

    I, or anyone else involved with the Put Patients First campaign, would be happy to explain how that advisory board would work in practice.

    LEE RUSS

    Bennington
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