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Home for people with mental disabilities has own issues



Published: Sun, January 9, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

photo

Special to the Vindicator

This bathroom, also photographed Dec. 15, shows broken and unclean fixtures. Area Agency on Aging 11 provided The Vindicator with the photos, shot to augment the state’s monitoring of the facility.

photo

Special to the Vindicator

This photo of an empty fire extinguisher box was shot Nov. 30, 2010.

By Dan Pompili

newsoutlet.org

YOUNGSTOWN

The incident report details a confusing sequence of events: Three men. Perhaps a sexual advance. A bathtub. Maybe a fight. Then a call to 911.

The Youngstown Police Department is still trying to sort out exactly what happened in the minutes before Michael Lambert was found dead Nov. 11, 2010, in a bathtub at a facility that was supposed to keep him safe.

Police are still waiting on the Mahoning County coroner to determine if Lambert’s death was a homicide or an accident.

The death is the latest episode in what has been a troubled history of a home for mentally impaired adults. House of Hope, formerly Bryson Manor, 115 Illinois Ave., was once affiliated with two now-shuttered residential mental-health facilities on the city’s North Side: Covington House and Illinois Manor.

Over the years, state and local officials have investigated two deaths, two rapes and numerous abuses that have occurred at the homes. Fights, thefts and consistently poor state-inspection reports also plagued the facilities.

Owner Robert Van Sickle closed Covington House and Illinois Manor in July 2007. But Hope, which opened in 1993 as Bryson, remains open after being acquired by its former administrator and two others in January 2010. Today it is still home to about 55 people with impairments such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

One Mahoning Valley official who oversees living conditions of more than 150 area homes and facilities said he thinks House of Hope is no better now than when it was named Bryson Manor.

“What we see, year in and year out with this facility, is ... the deplorable environmental conditions, the unclean, the unsafe environment, the risk of abuse, the risk of sexual abuse, the risk of physical exploitation,” said John Saulitis, an ombudsman with Area Agency on Aging 11, a public-private partnership that uses public funds to oversee senior services in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

“We can’t tell you where [mental health patients] should live,” said Saulitis, a longtime critic of the facility. “What we can tell you is where they shouldn’t live.”

A challenging business

Hope has a difficult job: helping those society has cast out and whose complicated psychological disorders make their lives difficult.

Saulitis said the problem with places such as Hope and many nursing homes he is charged with overseeing is that there are few punitive measures, if any, to police the facilities.

“If there is no sanction short of revoking the license, such as fines or penalties, then you have to ask why this is allowed to continue,” Saulitis said.

The Ohio Department of Health revoked Bryson Manor’s license in 2009 for a series of sanitary and procedural failures. The facility was never closed, however, because Magistrate Timothy Welsh of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court overruled the state finding against Bryson.

Welsh ruled that due process was denied for Bryson because the state presented to the examiner parts of its inspection findings from all of 2008 even though it told Bryson it would present only November 2008 inspection results.

The Ohio Department of Health is again after the facility for safety and sanitary violations. The state gave House of Hope officials until Dec. 6 to address problems cited in a Sept. 21 inspection.

House of Hope’s petition for an extension of that deadline was rejected. On Dec. 22, Dr. Alvin Jackson, director of the Ohio Department of Health, notified House of Hope administrators that “conditions exist that constitute a real and present danger.” He cited:

The facility “failed to provide adequate supervision to ensure a safe living environment” in the case of Lambert’s death.

The staff failed to intervene when a resident was seen with cigarettes and lighter fluid in his room, and there were no procedures to monitor unsafe behavior by residents who smoke.

Jackson warned if improvements were not made by Jan. 5, he intended to seek injunctive relief — a filing with the common-pleas court — to close the facility and transfer its residents elsewhere.

Jackson also prohibited House of Hope from admitting any new residents until the state’s requirements are satisfied.

Jackson’s office confirmed last week that House of Hope complied with the Jan. 5 deadline with a “plan of correction.”

“We are now reviewing it,” Tessie Pollock, the department’s public-information officer, said Thursday. “It will not be public record until the review process is done.”

Hope’s administrators, Charlene Crissman and Lisa Lloyd, said they have worked to improve the facility since taking over ownership, but the battle has been uphill, citing financial difficulties and the nature of their residents.

“This is not a money-making business,” Lloyd said.

“You have to have a heart for mental-health patients,” Crissman said. “And I can say for certain that is one thing that myself, Lisa and [co-owner] Michael [Binder] have in common.”

Crissman, who served as the administrator of Bryson Manor when it was owned by Van Sickle; Lloyd and Binder acquired the business from Van Sickle at no cost and began operating it in January 2010, although Van Sickle remained the business’s legal owner until August.

Crissman said the building was in foreclosure, which they were unaware of until a mailed notification arrived. They acted quickly to buy the tax liens on the facility to save it, she said. Church groups, private donors and the owners’ personal funds paid the necessary bills to keep the facility operating.

The foreclosure is on hold, and tax payments are current, according to the Mahoning County treasurer’s office.

Records show challenges

Sean and Alan Courtright have mixed feelings about the care their 47-year-old brother received at Bryson, where he died.

Robin Courtright, 47, was the previous death at Bryson before Lambert. Courtright died in 2007 awaiting a transfer to a skilled-care facility where he could receive oxygen and some medical care, reports say. The coroner’s report says he died of natural causes from his illness.

Alan Courtwright said he blames Hope for what he said was his brother’s premature death, saying he had a “fear the whole time he was there.”

Sean Courtright said Bryson staff members were loving and supportive.

“If I had any suspicions, I would say as much. I don’t,” Sean Courtright said.

Police, court and state inspection records reveal signs of trouble at the facility and other group homes affiliated with the former owner of House of Hope:

In March 2007, a resident was strangled at Illinois Manor.

The former human-resources manager for Bryson was fired in 2008 amid allegations of “improper employee-resident contact and interaction.”

Police have been called to the facilities several times each week for years to investigate fights, missing people and thefts. In 2010, between May 9 and Sept. 12, there were 76 calls to 911 for help from House of Hope residents and staff.

“These places are supposed to provide quality of life,” Saulitis said, questioning whether living conditions meet even a “minimum standard of care.”

Crissman said Saulitis’ comments are off base. She added that state inspectors have been overly critical in what they cite on the regular survey inspections.

“We can’t pass a survey to save our life, but it’s not for lack of trying,” Crissman said.

The challenges at Hope, according to various police and state records, have been many and varied.

In some cases, Hope’s residents are drug addicts and system abusers who, despite their mental disabilities, are still clever enough to manipulate police and medical-emergency responders to feed their habits, police reports show.

According to a Sept. 18 police report, one Hope resident confided to an ambulance driver that he stages fits to get transported to the hospital so he can obtain drugs for a “recreational purpose.”

The police officer who wrote the incident report was frustrated with the Hope resident: “He is rapidly exhausting the resources of police, paramedics and hospitals. If these activities are not halted, I believe that another entity that may truly need emergency services may be made to wait while our limited resources are squandered.”

In other cases, fights have erupted between residents and staff, with staff sometimes on the losing end.

A resident assaulted a social worker in April 2008 when she attempted to clean the resident’s room. When Crissman arrived to assist the social worker, the resident punched Crissman and sprayed her in the face with a cleaning solution.

Crissman said they had attempted to have the resident removed from the residence months earlier, but that Saulitis fought them through an appeal process, forcing them to keep the resident in the facility.

She said she found it curious Saulitis would appeal a removal if he were so opposed to housing mental-health clients at Hope.

Saulitis said there are certain regulations in place that prevent arbitrary evictions, and he was only ensuring due process to protect the resident’s rights.

After the assault, administrators were finally able to have the resident removed through legal channels.

There also have been thefts at the facility. Some of them were personal property, such as a laptop computer from a resident’s room.

Issues with training, staffing

Staffing and training have been targeted by the state as concerns at Hope.

The facility maintains 17 staffers, with at least two caregivers on duty at all times, Crissman said. The other staff members include three kitchen workers, two maintenance workers, two housekeeping workers and one newly hired dietitian. Visiting nurses, physicians, psychologists and bath aides also come to offer services to some residents.

All of these services are paid through residents’ Medicare and Medicaid.

According to Ohio Department of Health inspection reports, Hope was cited as recently as June for failing to ensure continuing education for administration and staffers. It also failed to ensure appropriate training in first aid, mental-health care, emergency and disaster procedures and dietary and nutrition practices, the state said.

Crissman and Lloyd, a licensed practical nurse, have extensive nursing-home experience: Crissman for 10 years before working at Bryson, and Lloyd for 22 years between nursing homes and prison health systems.

Crissman has no college degree in mental-health care. But she said she maintains her continuing-education requirements necessary for certification, as required by Ohio laws.

Crissman said she is pleased with her staff.

Staff turnover used to be constant, but “the staff we have now is the best I’ve seen in the 10 years since I’ve been here,” she said.

Questions have been raised about staff ability, however.

One Youngstown police officer, in a July 10 report, chastised a House of Hope staff member for inappropriate actions and comments during a dispute with a resident.

“The actions and comments made by the ... staff worker ... were unprofessional and severely hampered our ability to resolve this issue. This person seemed to feel that if there were any client that disagreed with how care is rendered to them that the police should either arrest or remove these clients at [staff’s] request,” the officer wrote.

Melissa Novits, a city health department nurse, has been a critic of Youngstown group homes and has questioned why staff members failed to take action to prevent the 2007 strangling death at Illinois Manor.

In March 2007, resident Stephen Lawson was strangled at Illinois Manor. Resident James DiCioccio was accused, but was deemed incompetent to stand trial.

Shortly before the Lawson killing, DiCioccio assaulted another resident, police records show.

Novits and Lawson’s family questioned why DiCioccio was not being monitored more closely after the first assault.

Youngstown police Lt. John Kelty, who responded to the scene, said DiCioccio had been refusing to take his medications.

“That’s the problem with people like [DiCioccio],” Kelty said. “When they take their medications, they’re fine. But you can’t leave them alone in an apartment somewhere, because if they don’t take their meds, there’s no telling what can happen.”

Kelty said the best place for DiCioccio was at a group home.

“They have some kind of structure there,” he said. “The staff at least tries to make sure they get their medication.”

DiCioccio has since been committed to a state mental-health facility in Northfield.

At the time of the incident, Novits said there was no required number of staff members for facilities such as Illinois or Bryson. The night Lawson was killed, two staffers were on duty at Illinois Manor, a 15-room, 3,500-square-foot facility next door to House of Hope.

Only one staffer is required during any 24-hour period for a residential facility such as House of Hope, although more may be needed, depending on the residents’ needs, Saulitis said.

Crissman said at least two staffers are on duty at all times, and five were on duty Nov. 11 when Michael Lambert died there.

House of Hope is nearly four times the size of the former Illinois Manor, and housed 55 residents in 2010, compared to 16 at Illinois Manor in 2007.

Crissman said the facility’s staffing needs are not the same as a nursing home or state mental hospital.

“We don’t have a one-aide-to-eight-patient ratio here,” she said. “We’re a residential facility.”

Death and Sex

According to the initial Youngstown Police Department report in November, Lambert, 59, was making sexual advances to another resident while that resident was in the bathtub. The bather called another resident to get Lambert to leave.

The incident report says that when Lambert refused to leave, the second resident left to smoke a cigarette outside. He was gone for five minutes. When he returned, he found Lambert in the tub, submerged in 18 inches of bath water, unconscious. The man who originally had been in the bathtub before Lambert was gone.

The Mahoning County coroner’s office is treating the death as suspicious.

Crissman said Lambert, known as “Mickey,” was a kind of a “mascot” around the facility and that he was well-liked. She also said his intellect was that of “a young child.”

Crissman said Lambert could not possibly have understood the concept of a sexual advance, but that because of his autism, he may have been “handsy.”

Lambert’s brother, Richard of Groesbeck, Texas, said he does not believe the police report and agrees with Crissman that his brother could not understand the idea of sex. Still, Richard Lambert questions the whereabouts of the staff when his brother died.

“What were they doing while all this was going on?” he asked. “All I can tell you is, we’ve got something wrong here.”

Jean Anderson, Lambert’s sister, said her brother was deathly afraid of water and would never have gotten into a tub by himself.

Anderson further said that no administrators ever contacted her about her brother’s death, though three aides attended his funeral and were visibly upset.

“We’re not getting any answers right now,” Anderson said. “There’s something that dumbfounds me, because that wasn’t a place for him. I could tell the day we walked in there.”

This was not the first case of an alleged inappropriate sexual advance involving a local care facility.

In January 2008, the then-director of personnel at Bryson, Franklin J. Fowler Jr., was fired for improper contact with then-Bryson clients.

Fowler, who lived on the property, was accused of either visiting the residents in their rooms or calling them to his third-floor apartment.

State inspection reports from March 12, 2008, and Ohio Department of Health investigation records from Feb. 19, 2008, detail the accounts, as does a Jan. 31, 2008, Youngstown police incident report.

According to the reports, various employees said they saw the resident coming from Fowler’s apartment at different hours, usually around 5 to 6 a.m. None of them reported it, one saying she assumed everyone knew and that she was afraid she’d be fired. She decided to “mind my own business.”

According to a May 2008 Aspen Complaint/Incident Tracking System report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “the facility fired [Fowler] on 1-28-08 for ‘improper employee-resident contact and interaction’ stating the abuse could not be substantiated.”

That was followed by a journal entry June 4, 2008, filed by state health director Dr. Jackson citing “a reasonable basis for an allegation” that Fowler “abused a resident in January 2008 by engaging in sexual conduct.” That entry was made into the health department’s Nurse Aide Registry, which maintains records of those who have “had a finding of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property against them” which would, in effect, bar them from future employment in such facilities.

Crissman, who was an assistant administrator at Bryson at the time, declined to discuss the issue at length but denied any knowledge of Fowler’s acts.

“In a million years, I never would have thought that was going on,” she said.

No charges were ever filed against Fowler. The case was transferred from the Youngstown police’s detective division to city Prosecutor Jay Macejko, who said his office took the case as far as it could, citing a lack of evidence.

Youngstown’s Lt. Kelty added that the reason for lack of prosecution could be that the victims were not competent to testify, and even in cases with competent witnesses, convictions are difficult to obtain.

The NewsOutlet is a joint media venture by student and professional journalists and is a collaboration of Youngstown State University, WYSU radio and The Vindicator.


Comments

1CassAnn(252 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

These types of people are very difficult to care for even under the best of circumstances. Medicaid and Medicare barely provide enough income for a skeleton crew of staff let alone the amount that really should be present in a facility like this. The state should be subsidizing facilities like these instead of issuing violations and sitting on their hands. Until this Obama care ordeal is settled it is only going to get worse.

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2nojimbo(221 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Two major pieces missing from this story. The city of Youngstown Health Department has the authority to fine these homes. That power was added to city ordinances during the last time group home abuses came to light in the 1990s. When Mr. Saulitis says there's no such sanction as a fine, he's forgetting about the city's power to fine through the Health Department.

Second, where is Ron Marian's name in all this? He's been king of the county Mental Health Board since the beginning of time. Why isn't he leading a call for improved conditions for mental health clients under his authority? Probably because now, as in the past, he thinks anybody who's not living under a bridge has a pretty good.life. Sure there might be some abuse here or there and someone might get killed once in awhile, but hey, they've got a roof over their heads.

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3maggie101956(5 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

It is sad when human beings are treated worse than the dogs in the local animal shelter. Are these patients wards of the state? If so, isn't the state government responsible for the decisions being made about their care. I think this is how "Obama care" will be carried out. As long as these facilities remain open, and kickbacks are paid out to landlords and health inspectors, these places will remain open. The politicians from Federal office, on down, should have been investigating these places all along. Federal, and state taxes fund these facilities, or the medicaid, and SSI monies that support their residents. How much money has been donated to local campaigns by the owners,so the politicians don't pursue legal suit? I think there is more going on here than meets the eye, and it is too sad that human lives, and the quality of care for them, are paying the price.

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Welsh does the bidding for Van Sickle... gee what a surprise!

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5Tom27(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The tragic paradox is that Ohio DMH was to have transformed our mental health system having received a five year Mental Health Transformation - State Incentive Grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2005. Five years later is this representative of what mental health system transformation looks like in deed?

ODMH's final transformative events were a September 8, 2010 celebration and a report "Geared-Up for Action". Did any actual action occur over the five years which improved the quality of life and the outcomes realized by those at House of Hope and Illinois Manor pursuant to the grant or did ODMH spend the past five years merely gearing up for action?

ODMH Transformation Incentive Grant webpage, http://www.mh.state.oh.us/what-we-do/...

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

"In some cases, Hope’s residents are drug addicts and system abusers who, despite their mental disabilities, are still clever enough to manipulate police and medical-emergency responders to feed their habits, police reports show."

The taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners the money is wasted ! We need to build a large state run mental health facility to house these people .

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7sobegirl(5 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

As a former casemanger who had clients in this facility years ago, I'd like to enlighten some of you who aren't familiar with the severe and persistently mentally ill population (SPMI). When funding has been cut at mental health institutions, the institutions have no choice but to 1.) Shut down completely or 2.) Discharge patients to the community. As far as #1- when the institutions shut down, the patients were discharged to the street. Some found their to way to facilities that could assist them, others went to family, while others became homeless. #2 choice- Mental health agencies work with hospitals in assisting with discharge planning. This includes connecting the patient with group home and out-patient mental health service. Back to #1- a majority of those discharged to the street had a criminal past and most, without being monitored, would stop medication, thus causing their symptoms to overtake them, thus becoming a problem in the community. Cuts in funding have caused group homes to close; the ones that stayed open, lacked sufficient funds to hire people for more than minimum wage, and some group home owners were only in it for the money and didn't care about the safety or cleanliness of the home (this is when officials come in a shut the home down). Lack of funding and lack of places for patients to go, lead to over-crowding in other homes. Would you rather these patients roam the street, unmedicated, with the possibility of one of them running into you, or would you rather they be housed, monitored, and given 3 meals a day? Unless it is a lock-down facility, like a hospital (and even in hospitals, patients cause trouble) then staff cannot be in all places at one time. Cleanliness of facilities should be monitored better and shame on staff for not giving residents a clean living environment. Some families can be the biggest complainers. They didn't want the responsibility of taking care of their father, son, sister, daughter, mother, cousin, etc.. so they quit paying attention to that family member years ago so the system stepped in and took care of their family member for them and only when there are issues like this, do you hear from the family who start screaming abuse, want to sue, etc... Instead of putting all the blame on group homes, how about contacting your senators and representatives and asking them to increase funding to state hospitals and mental health agencies so that proper care can be given to those in need.

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8nojimbo(221 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Sobegirl,
You've done a very good job of explaining the ongoing conditions that lead to these problems.

You are especially correct that low funding is at the root of the situation. The fact is that the mentally ill are at the very bottom of the political heap at the local. state, and federal level in terms of funding priorities.

The only way this can improve is if strong advocacy is organized to pressure for more funding.

Again, I go back to Ron Marian. He's in charge of Mahoning County's Mental Health Board which includes oversight over funding and services.

Did Mr. Marian set foot inside House of Hope in 2010? Can the Vindicator ask him this? If Marian hasn't visited House of Hope, why not? It's the largest single housing location for the mentally ill in Mahoning County.

Why isn't Marian leading an advocacy group of prominent citizens and the mentally ill themselves or their family members to fight for more funding at all levels --- local,state,and national.

Why isn't the (well paid) leader leading?

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9Fungirl(1 comment)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I read all the above comments and i am personally close to the owners. It is unfair to judge the house of hope for cleanliness due to one picture. I myself am aware of all the approvements made at the house of hope such as new carpet, new tile, fresh paint inside the home and the facility has more staff now then has had in the past since house of hope came into existence. I know that all staff is trained with first aid and CPR as well as inservices are done regurally to deal with mental health clients. Please do not judge this facility on the pictures you see and past owners incidents.

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10sobegirl(5 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I might be mistaken, but I don't think Marian is at the helm anymore.

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11nojimbo(221 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

His picture's still up on the county website --- http://www.mahoningcountyoh.gov/Depar...
--- but again who'd know in the general public when you keep such a low profile and the average taxpayer never sees you or hears about your cause (advocating for and serving the mentally ill) except for maybe 2 weeks before a levy renewal.

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12atek101(77 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I know whoever came up with the title of this article thought they were being clever, but comparing the serious problems faced by people with mental illness to the serious housing conditions that they face in a way that is supposed to be humorous seems pretty tasteless to me.

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13Tom27(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Mahoning County's Mental Health Board Home Page includes its vision statement, “Mahoning County will be a community of mentally healthy people who lead fulfilling and productive lives. It will be a caring community with strong compassion for and a determination to respond effectively and respectfully to the needs of all citizens with mental illness and behavioral disorders which allows them to function in society.” http://www.mahoningcountyoh.gov/Depar...

One wonders .... What type of resources and outcomes do county mental health providers represent for the individuals they serve and what can they evidence? Are the conditions reported here anomalies or do they suggest systemic problems in a county mental health system committed to helping persons "lead full and productive lives." Does anyone know or care?

Mahoning County Community Plan SFY 2009: http://mentalhealth.ohio.gov/assets/c...

Mahoning County Mental Health Board Annual Report 2009: http://www.mahoningcountyoh.gov/LinkC...

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14concerned(167 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

This man had autism? I wouldn't be surprised if he had been diagnosed with something else earlier in his life. Possibly schziophrenia? But, autism is now is the fastest growing developmental disability. 80% of those with autism are under the age of 18. Granted autism is a "spectrum". And some people with autism will be able to live and work independently. I believe they will be the minority. Most will need round the clock care. What has and is going on in places like this group home makes me ill.

I don't know what caused autism in Mr. Lamb. Autism was first identified in 1943. Autism is diagnosed by observing behaviors. There is no blood test. So, many things are being called "autism"that may stem from various causes.

A relatively obscure disorder now is found in 1in 58 boys! Imagine the future! Autism is a brain disabling condition that can be prevented or reversed in many cases. Today, many parents are reporting their child regressing from a typical normal developing child to a child who suddenly starts acting autistic. Something must be causing this reversal. Many of today's children with autism have numerous medical issues immune dysfunction and bowel problems, and seizures to name but a few medical issues.Contrary to the news of 2 days ago. Autism is very much a by product of aggressive vaccination in some children. If a percentage of cases could be prevented-shouldn't they?

Please stop the madness! Today's autism is primarily a man made condition. Stemming from greed. We can't afford or manage the autistic individuals we have now. What a bleak future for these people who have been unlucky enough to succumb to this condition.

We will need lots of groups homes and institutional style living facilties in the years to come. But I fear these people will be in the streets homeless and abandoned. Autism is an epidemic. Please demand the government stop protecting pharmaceutical companies and stop the madness of giving children a brain disabling condition we call "autism" through the needle. Ironically, the only approved treatment for this condition is psyhchiatric medications. Research how pharmaceutical companies have been bilking medicaid and medicare over these meds.

Think about the fact the government can't say what autism is and what causes it, but they know it's not vaccines. How is that possible? An incurable brain condition that requires life long psych meds to control and manage it? How convenient and profitable!

Things will only get worse as these children start aging. The sheer numbers are overhwelming. A 600% increase over 2 decades. Where is all this autism coming from? But they are coming..and we are not prepared for them.

My condoloences to the Lamb family for the loss of your brother. I hope his death will not be in vain and conditions in these places will improve. He was somebody. Somebody special. Your brother.

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15Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Sobegirl,
When you blame families for "losing interest", I would remind you that the patient and the courts will push families away by insisting that the patient has "rights" as an adult. Unless a sibling can establish himself as a guardian of the patient, it is very difficult to help with his choices.
That said, a relative of mine was in a "home" on Illinois for about a quick minute after we went to visit. The residents were hopelessly sitting on steps smoking in this overcrowded and depressing holding place. It was nothing like a home.
With persistance, we were able to find a more humanistic setting in a group home a few blocks away. Then a daughter of the administrator took him in as a boarder. But we could not just tell him to come live with family if he did not want to.
I had also seen him in a mental hospital before all of the hospitals were closed. Those institutions were better than the situations the mentally ill find themselves in today.

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16bottlebum(1 comment)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

'A boy with autism grows to an adult, is placed in this group home and is dead.' This is the first thought that came to me while reading this story, "dead". This should not have happened to this man and his loved ones. Why is a place like this allowed to continue to be open? Why was this place unsupervised? Why is a mentally challenged man with Autism in a place with past or present drug users and severe mental disorders?. Obviously, the family of this man trusted these people to take care of their loved one! How many times had the police been called to this place?( could this have been one of the reasons why police did not answer my call? ) This place needs to be closed and the residents sent to the appropriate institutions! An investigation to get to the root of this tragedy should be a number one priority. Politics, politics, etc. May God Bless this man and his family, the past residents who have been abused, and their families If this place does stay open, this story should be put in a large frame and hung in the front entrance for all to see!

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17author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Time for Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky to call in his chief crack investigator Don Gaudio Jr. to get to the bottom of this fiasco.

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18sobegirl(5 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Concerned_Voter:
I currently work with severe and persistent mentally ill adults that live in the community. 75% of my caseload are clients whose families do not and have not wanted anything to do with their relative. If the majority of mentally ill clients I have seen had involved families, their quality of life would have been better. I only write of what I have experienced and I have been in this field for 15 years. I have a burden to help this population and I have no problem stating that some families should have done a better job with their relative.

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19sobegirl(5 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Concerned_Voter part 2:
I see u posted that you helped your family member get to a better facility. My point exactly. You took part in his/her care. I'm addressing those that don't and let their family member go where ever.

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20reginold(2 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Yes, the taxpayers are being ripped off. Every year the Mental Health and the MRDD pass more levys. However, that money goes to the top heavy pencil pushers. The direct care staff that are responsible for these people never see any of that money. Direct care staff never make more than minimum wage. You get what you pay for!!

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21GTX66(338 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

This is what happens when states close facilities such as Woodside Receiving Hospital. The mentally ill have no where else to go.

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22candystriper(575 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

In some states senior citizens on Medicaid who use county mental health services are now being billed for them. This is how they will stop people from abusing or for that matter even using the services. If you are on Medicaid and get a $1,000 bill you may not use the system...states are broke.

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23TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

SALARIES OF RON AND HIS CREW of DO NOTHINGS

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Ronald A. Marian, Executive Director $59.58 per hour hired Jan 2 1974 annual $123,313

Michele Petrello, Administrative Assistant $22.28 per hour hired APR 3 1989 annual $ 46,531

William Carbonell, Director of Clinical Programs & $32.38 per hour hired Apr 7 2003 annual $ 67,613

Toni Notaro, Administrative Director $30.77 per hour hired May 1 2006 annual $ 64,261

Howard Merritt, Director of Finance $23.86 per hour hired Mar 9 2009 annual $ 60,263

Carol E. Morgan, Enrollment Specialist $15.74 per hour hired May 3 1999 annual $ 32,885

Marla Ogan, Account Specialist $14.26 per hour hired Nov 8 2006 annual $ 29,793

Susan Greaves, Claims Specialist $16.62 per hour hired Jul 2 2007 annual $ 34,721

AND YOU WONDER WHERE THE BLACK HOLE OF TAXPAYER MONEY IS!!

Suggest removal:

24TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

P.S.

I notice great reporting done by YSU students!!!

They put the regular staff of the VINDY TO SHAME

Suggest removal:

25TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

A look at Mr. VanSickle and his hitory in Mahoning County court

56 LAWSUITS

rty Affl Party Type D.O.B Case Status Case Number
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1992 CV 01883
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1992 CV 02663
VANSICKLE, ROBERT PLNTF CLOSED 50 1996 CV 02894
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03296
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03297
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03298
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03299
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03302
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03304
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 CV 03305
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1997 CV 03447
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1997 CV 03447
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 1999 CA 00015
VANSICKLE, ROBERT PLNTF CLOSED 50 1999 CV 01667
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2000 CA 00012
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2000 CA 00091
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2004 CV 03096
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT OPEN 50 2004 JD 03017
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2007 CV 01120
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2007 CV 04869
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT OPEN 50 2007 JD 00681
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT OPEN 50 2007 JD 01403
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT CLOSED 50 2007 MA 00108
VANSICKLE, ROBERT DFNDT OPEN 50 2009 JD 06524
VANSICKLE, ROBERT E DFNDT 07/23/2020 CLOSED 50 1996 TR D 00677 CNF
VANSICKLE, ROBERT E DFNDT 07/23/1920 CLOSED 50 1999 TR D 05140 BDM
VANSICKLE, ROBERT E DFNDT 07/23/1920 CLOSED 50 2010 TR D 04049 BDM
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 1994 JD 00680
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 1994 ST 00069
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H PLNTF 02/05/1949 CLOSED 50 1996 DR 00783
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 1996 JD 00967
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 1996 ST 00158
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 1998 CV 02162
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 1998 JD 04295
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H PLNTF CLOSED 50 1999 CV 02988
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H PLNTF CLOSED 50 2000 CV 00387
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2001 JD 00707
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 2003 CV 02480
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 2005 CV 01460
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 2007 CV 00412
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 2007 CV F 00689 AUS
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2007 JD 04448
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H OT CLOSED 50 2008 CV 00973
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT CLOSED 50 2008 CV 04354
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2009 JD 03331
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2009 JD 03340
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2010 CV 04340
VANSICKLE, ROBERT H DFNDT OPEN 50 2010 JD 05495
VANSICKLE, ROBERT L DFNDT 02/05/1949 CLOSED 50 1996 CR B 00130 AUS
VANSICKLE, ROBERT RESP PTYOF TWINS INC DFNDT OPEN 50 1996 JD 00184

Suggest removal:

26Tom27(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

House of Hope's June 8, 2010 Inspection Survey - Findings / Facility Response:

http://www.ltcohio.org/consumer/viewi...

Suggest removal:

27southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The picture of that bathtub is nasty and disgusting

Suggest removal:

28wow1521(2 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I think it is a shame...No matter what the goverment hands out and after the administrators take their cut..There is no excuse for a house to be so dirty...A little elbow grease and time the house would be and should be cleaned...Family members should be notified and if there is no family then they should be awarded to the state and moved immediately...WHAT A SHAME...NOTHING BUT A DIRTY DIRTY HOUSE...

Suggest removal:

2944509resident(45 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

maybe i read it wrong but did they sy the place houses 55 residents and there are only 2 staff people their at a time... WTF?The ratio was 4 to 1 when i worked at a mental health facility.

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