Saturday, May 31, 2008

HELLO NC Psychological Association : will you weigh in? : Dix closes / Regional Central Hospital opens as THEY RENOVATE EVEN BEFORE MOVING IN

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Clinical Licensed Psychologist, NC e mail: cell: 404 964 5338 fax: 828 254 2013 NC Mental Health Reform blogspot:

May 30, 2008

Dear Richard Rumer, PhD
(Licensed Psychologist : Dorothea Dix Hospital 820 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh NC 27603-2176 )

Thank you for standing behind the important letter written on May 30, 2008 by yourself, Dr. Margaret Champion,MD and Dr. Nicole Wolfe, MD, affiliated w/ Dorothea Dix Hospital.

Here is a copy of that letter which is online in pdf file format:

Letter from Dix Medical-Psychological Staff to Secretary Benton
news/health_science/story_graphics/ 20080531_doctors.pdf

Having worked at the Alabama State Mental Hospital in Tuscaloosa, which once had a building second only to the Pentagon, I realize the procedures one has to utilize in order to move from one psychiatric unit to another. The age of that hospital was such that there was an entire sound-track associated with the large skeleton keys I carried in my pocket as I moved from one locked unit to the next.

The purpose of my letter and posting on my NC mental health reform blogspot, as well as circulation amongst concerned citizens in NC, is an attempt to bring forward a comment by the NC Psychological Association which has had very little to say about NC mental health reform.

Your letter, dated May 30, 2008, addressed to Patricia Christian, PhD, RN and James Osberg, PhD (both assumably psychologists) has been sent to psychiatrists and psychologists throughout NC.

You have outlined a grim scenario wherein the opening of the new Central Regional Hospital will stand as another monumental 'moment of legacy' for Governor Easley and Dempsey Benton.

The NC Psychiatric Association has stated clearly that they think that the opening of the hospital is very premature.

Will the NC Psychological Association speak up about these important matters?

"...Our concerns extend beyond issues of paperwork and prcedures. The new facility will open with a proximity (key-card) system that neither DDH nor JDH staff have ever used before, and with a duress (safety) alarm system that is likewise new to us. We have yet to receive any training, or review procedures manauals, regarding these or any such basic life--safety matters as fire drills or medical codes. Even the list of staff offices that was received yesterday is incomplete, apparently because of the pending renovation of what will be the new Child and Adolescent Center...

The Medical-Psychological Staff also noted that certain sensitive emergency response issues raise troubling questions. For example, in order to respond in a timely manner to a medical emergency in the Child/Adolescent unit (in a separate building) medical staff will have to exit the CRH through a door in the Forenseic Service Unit. This would seem to compromise the safety and security of the Forensic Service Unit, which arguably will house some of the most potentially dangerous patients in the hospital....(see the architectural rendering, online, of the new hospital built by the firm who has never designed a hospital before here: It is evident from the pic that the buildings are set up such that in order to move from a proximal unit to a distal one, you have to go thru one building and then another one.....)

As you know, hospitals are requied to have an organized and self-governing medical staff, with thorough bylaws and precedures regarding credentialing and privileging. As of this writing, we have not yet seen such bylaws for CRH, we have not see the credentialing and privileging procedures, and there has been o vote to adopt thes bylaws. We have asked Mr. Raynor, our acting director of standards, to contact JCAHO to seek consultation regarding the proper procedures when opening a new hospital, as credentialing and privileging of licensed healthcare providers is an essential element to proper patient care....."

(I'm betting that the new hospital, not yet open, is about to be shut down by JCAHO).

I'm looking forward to that article, Michael Biesecker, mental health reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Maybe Dr. Lancaster and Leza Wainwright, to whom the letter it also addressed, the co-directors of the Department of Mental Health, under NC DHHS, should re-impose Carmen Hooker Odom's gag order placed on DHHS employees back in 2002....seeing how they now are free of Debbie Crane, the Information Officer of NC DHHS, who was fired by governor Easley for pointing out that his throwing away of his e mails was not in keeping with the standard held by NC state government.

Heckuva job, Mr. Easley. This hospital will never get off the ground if the architectural rendering (see is true to the purpose of this mental hospital which will presumably service 24 NC counties.

Materials utilized as background to this post:

Item 1: architectural firm hired by the state had never designed a hospital before:
Who designed the new hospital?It was designed by The Freelon Group, a North Carolina architectural firm based in the Research Triangle Park.
Porfolio of The Freelon Gp:
(search by 'project type' reveals no hospitals)
Item 2: Dempsey Benton was the former CEO of the City of Raleigh x 17 yrs prior to his appointment as Secretary of NC DHHS:
City of Raleigh Environmental Programs: Benton Water Treatment Plant
Apr 11, 2007 ... The new plant is named for Dempsey E. Benton, who served as Raleigh’s city manager from 1983-2000 and as chief deputy secretary of the N.C.
Item 3: what did the new hospital cost?
How much does the new hospital cost?The construction contract, with change orders is $111,956,970. The funding available for construction, design, medical equipment, furniture and associated components, telecommunications and data equipment, computers, etc, is $130,000,000 in Certificates of Participation (COPs). All of these funds are expected to be expended by the time the CRH is fully operational.
FAQ's re: hospital:
The transition from John Umstead and Dorothea Dix Hospitals to Central Regional Hospital (CRH) will begin in early June and be completed by July 1, 2008. The CRH-Dix Unitwill be operational upon the closing of Dorothea Dix Hospital.
What item is missing?
"How do you get from the Adult unit to the Adolescent Unit without having to run through the Forensic Unit?"

You guessed it, key-card to get out, run outside, key-card to get back into the Child/ Adolescent unit so you don't have to run through the Forensice Unit where the murderers are interned.

Someone will be dead before that series of events can transpire.


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