Friday, July 19, 2019

200 Sign Petition Asserting "Staffing Crisis at Gracedale

Kelly Ehlman, a 20-year Gracedale worker, admitted she was nervous as she stood in front of Northampton County Council last night. "I'm here about the staffing crisis that we face in Gracedale," she said, adding she was doing so "on behalf of the residents." She presented a petition with 200 signatures asserting a an employee shortage despite initiatives made by upper management.

Her petition calls on Council to investigate by obtaining the results of a family survey conducted by management, inquiring about the rise of employee resignations, re-assessing initiatives implemented by the Director of Nursing and "find a solution to what management has failed to accomplish."

Council President Ron Heckman suggested that she meet with Human Services Chair Lori Vargo Heffner, who agreed to discuss the mater with Ehlman.

Council member John Cusick also suggested she address her concerns with her union. "I have tried that; that's been void," responded Ehlman. "Out of desperation on my account I am here even though I face possible retaliation in the future."

She said that she recently visited one floor with two aides serving 50 residents on the 3-11 shift.

"Doyou have any specific recommendations that have not been tried?" asked Council member Matt Dietz.

Ehlman responded that the county has already doneseveral things she called ridiculous. She cited a short-lived attempt to eliminate per diem as well as the elimination of a staffing position on every floor.In addition, she said employees are pulled off floors for training.

"Whatever they are doing, the staffing crisis has worsened," Ehlman said of Gracedale administrators.

Heckman promised Ehlman she'd face no retaliation.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gracedale is a behemoth that cannot be properly managed by the county. It should have been sold years ago when the county was offered $35 million to rid itself of this white elephant. It has no choice but to scale back its capacity and cut costs. Good luck with that. In the end, Gracedale has to be highly subsidized by county taxpayers, or it should be put up for sale or lease by a private operator.

Anonymous said...

12:09 must have the statement in a copy/paste file, I've read it for years.

Anonymous said...

If it was an old C&P, it still applies.

Anonymous said...

I hope she does not get attacked by her bosses. How can county council monitor this? Doesn't a employee have the right to come before the county council.

Anonymous said...

Can Erdman really guarantee her protection from retaliation? She should have encouraged hundreds of families to join her.

Moonstrance said...

rid us of this white elephant and it's unions. Think of the taxpayers instead of the inmates

Anonymous said...

Again and again and again. Stoffa and Angle were right. The county has no business in the nursing home business. It's demonstrably terrible at running one. No real spoiler alert here. This is how the rest of this goes:
1) Lamont and council agree to take a serious look at the issue
2) Bernie runs a post that tells us how great Lamont is
3) Meaningless changes are made
4) Bernie runs a post that tells us how great Lamont is
5) A lower rating, more problems, more complaints
6) Bernie runs this story on rinse and repeat
7) Lamont and council agree to take a serious look at the issue
8) Bernie runs a post that tells us how great Lamont is ........

Anonymous said...

Don't believe Heckman. Retaliation happens all the time in the County. County Council doesn't have the BA--S to stand up to McClure/Detringer/Kelly. Council is in the back pocket of them.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why there shouldn't be government-run nursing homes.

If a nursing home is negligent, they should be reported to/investigated by the appropriate agency, the same as any other nursing home, and the appropriate remedies implemented.

Instead, politicians (who likely know little about running a nursing home) are brought into the process and political decisions are made. In the long run, this benefits neither the taxpayers nor the residents.

To be clear, I'm not criticizing Ehlman. I'm merely pointing out the inherent problem in the process that comes with county ownership.

West Easton Chain Saw Massacre said...

Sounds like Gracedale may need a few RTK requests to see what the heck is going on?

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:27, sadly,you would never know about the staffing crisis were it not for the stories I write. I have covered the problems at Gracedale extensively. Most of my stories have been before any other news source and more thorough. I have also covered McClure’s attempts to solve the problem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:27, I do appreciate your humor,even though it is critical of me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

<”Don't believe Heckman. Retaliation happens all the time in the County. County Council doesn't have the BA--S to stand up to McClure/Detringer/Kelly. Council is in the back pocket of them.”

Although Council is in job position to protect an employee who speaks out, Pa.hasa pretty strong WhistlebloerLaw. No one will mess with her.

Anonymous said...

"No one will mess with her"

Because it's written on a piece of paper? No one's allowed? Please.

You have to be... 20 years old to think like that....which is probably why she's out front in the first place.

The kid got guts...I wish her luck...she's going to need it. My advice for her would have been to quietly get another job.

Anonymous said...

"This is exactly why there shouldn't be government-run nursing homes."

If the nursing homes were run by the Marines, or better yet, let the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force, compete for the best old folks home, do you think it would be better than it is now?

What our government cares about it does well....best in the world.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:25, you appear too have both a negative and cynical view of others. You also fail to understand that the Whistleblower Law has teeth. On top of that, she has said nothing that county administrators have not said themselves. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to reduce staffing levels on individual floors, or when it occurred, but that is certainly inconsistent with trying to increase staffing.

Anonymous said...

ah but you would think this administration shold know whose bright idea it was right? or do they get the pass you continue to give them?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you may love McClure but this woman will definitely be retaliated against. When his capo's read the names they will have their hit list. I can appreciate Heckman and councils reassurances that they won't get in trouble. I believe they are sincere but you know they can't guarantee it.

McClure has a temper and you cannot guarantee he won't go after them even if you like him. Two hundred names is a lot of names. Have you seen the list?

Anonymous said...

The staffing shortage created by the union- COMICAL! TELL THE SLUGS TO COME TO WORK and maybe the camp wont have such a bad employee attendance and rating for how it treats its residents. At the border these poor folks would be treated better. It a modern day concentration camp

Anonymous said...

"Gracedale you better care at the mexican border"

Bernie O'Hare said...

”McClure has a temper and you cannot guarantee he won't go after them even if you like him. Two hundred names is a lot of names. Have you seen the list?”

I can guarantee he will not go after her, at least not for anything she said last night. Although you claim he has a temper, you fail to point out that he is pretty conscientious about both reading and following the law.

Like I said, you are way too negative and seem more focused on smearing McClure than actually helping residents.

I wonder why ... but not too much.

Everyone (except you) is on the same side here. They all agree they’d like more people. I have not followed up with McClure, but suspect he listened carefully and will certainly try to help. That is what he has been doing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

“ah but you would think this administration shold know whose bright idea it was right? or do they get the pass you continue to give them?”

Not necessarily. It may have occurred under Brown. Also, just bc Ehlman says this happened does not mean it did. I often find people say things that turn out to be wrong. It happens. Doesn’t mean anyone is lying. It is just the way things are.

Anonymous said...

So you are saying Heckman should not have said that to her? She was frightened an even crying. She and others have talked about the retribution out there. If you choose not to believe it because you think the Executive is a saint, you are already taking sides.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I said no such thing. Heckman did the right thing, and you are twisting what I said. That is why I have started to delete you. All you want to do is make a politically issue. You have no real interest in either the staffing shortage or the residents.

Anonymous said...

She's not twenty. She's a twenty YEAR employee. Geez...

Anonymous said...

Unless she got the job at birth. You know, County nepotism. Or the Dali Llama.

Anonymous said...

Is the list available to anyone?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes

Anonymous said...

Funny how this was never an issue with the Brown administration. He put people there who knew what they were doing. Cortney and Amy took care of what needed to be done. Too bad you’ll never admit that since you see Mc Clown through rose colored glasses and you’re a xenophobe. Be careful what you ask for you just might get it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Staffing at Gracedale became a big issue under Brown. That is when the Medicare rating for staffing dropped to two stars. McClure inherited this mess, as he did the P3.

Anonymous said...

If not for retribution why would the Admisntration demand the "list"?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stop the partisan horseshit. Nobody demanded the list. Ehlman presented it to County Council.

Anonymous said...

Where, Oh where, is Ron Angle when we need him? Make Northampton County Great Again!

Anonymous said...

Ron Angle and John Stoffa, make Northampton County Loony again!

Anonymous said...

If we'd listened to Stoffa and Angle we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Anonymous said...

McClure's legacy will be the abuse and neglect of the old people at Gracedale. Where are all the freeloaders who "fought" to keep this modern day concentration camp open? Let them all come in and take care of them and volunteer

LVCI said...

..this modern day concentration camp..

What the hell is the matter with you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mezzacraycray gives herself away .,. Again.

Anonymous said...

Cheaper to find out who are the “deadbeat employees of the year “ and present them publicly with an award.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should consider putting county money into helping the staffing crisis in gracedale, 911, the prison etc instead of building a forensic center that isn't needed. The county needs a morgue but what's being proposed is not necessary. It's just a legacy project for the executive.