ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Critics of a veterans care home in north St. Louis County are pulling no punches in their effort to bring about major changes.
Rick Stream is a Navy veteran and former Missouri state representative who’s made it his mission to build a case for the removal of several top administrators at the St. Louis Veterans Home, 10600 Lewis & Clark Blvd.
During a special meeting called Monday night for family members to air their complaints about the care their loved ones are receiving, Stream claimed to have direct knowledge of what the home’s administrator, Rolando Carter, said during a recent staff meeting.
“‘In case of fire push your veteran into his room, wish him good luck, close the door and don’t be a hero. It’s okay if we lose one or two’,” Stream recounted to groans of disgust from the audience. “That’s a direct quote ladies and gentleman.”
Stream and others are calling for the dismissal of Carter and the termination of four Missouri Veterans Commission staff members: Larry Kay, Bryan Hunt, Kim Packard and Patty Faenger.
They cite evidence that includes:
* A significant number of falls due to lack of properly trained staff
* Instances of burns and scalding due to negligence
* Bed sores being commonplace due to a lack of proper care and short staffing
* Significant overuse of mandation, aka “forced overtime”, which is “destroying employee morale”
* Blood and urine pooled under wheelchairs
Sherry Dejournett broke down on a couple of occasions while describing the quality of care her father’s receiving at the St. Louis Veterans Home.
“On June 13th my father was scalded in the shower,” she told the crowd. “I was present and I was a witness. It was very scary and I was in tears when I left.”
She added that when she tried later to stay for a meeting that she was entitled to attend as her father’s power-of-attorney, Carter threatened to have her arrested unless she left voluntarily.
Carter recently told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he’s aware of the complaints but says any problems that are present within the home are “minor in nature”, and are in the process of being fixed.
Last month the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs conducted its annual survey of the home and found it to be “in compliance with all federal standards”.