Friday, June 29, 2007

"Now Departing from Gate 1..."

More "Trauma" about DRMC...

Delta Medical is in a real mess. A large percentage of the nursing staff are travel nurses - very costly to the hospital with wages that exceed the home grown nursing staff - leading to resentment and an exodus of many local nurses. This is compounded by the fact that the travel nurses largely send their paychecks back to their home markets - so much for a turn over of their salaries to benefit the local city of Greenville.

Greenville continues to lose doctors: three pediatricians on the call rotation, two orthopedic doctors cover 20 out of 30 days per month, five doctors on the medical call rotation - historically there were twelve to fifteen on the medical call roster. This is creating a real strain on physician manpower. Don't be surprised if more doctors call it quits.

Delta Medical has continued to bill itself as a level II trauma center - go look up the requirements for trauma centers on the Mississippi Trauma System web site. To be a level III trauma center requires CONTINUOUS orthopedic coverage. Delta Medical center has not had continuous orthopedic call since Dr. Bill Ogden left. For almost a year and a half - one orthopedic surgeon provided 10 out of 30 days of call coverage - poor guy.

Now we have two orthopedic surgeons who provide 20 out of 30 days of call coverage - still not the continuous call coverage required for level III. That makes DRMC technically a level IV (FOUR) trauma center. I bet you the hospital is still getting paid at the level II (TWO) level. That sounds like fraud to me. To get paid as a level II and be only a level IV - great deal if you can get away with it.

I feel sorry for the poor local families who showed up at DRMC with a fracture needing orthopedic care and had to be sent to Jackson or Memphis. Of course, now we don't even have a neurosurgeon. But DRMC keeps collecting that level II trauma pay though.

Yes, DRMC's trauma level designation is definitely in question; however, if all of the ER Docs leave as has been predicted, it will be a moot point.

Sure the Docs are leaving. They were lured here with political buzz-words like "quality care" and "supportive administration". It doesn't take them long to realize that DRMC is a failed medical system and totally controlled by good-ole boy politicians and a bible-thumping hypocrite.

Ray Humpreys suffers from delusions of grandeur! He brags about his visions of a heart/cardiovascular unit when he can't even keep an orthopedist on staff or hire nurses. Face reality Ray, you ain't running Tulane Medical Center! What Greenville needs is a quality acute care medical facility with competent staff... no bells, no whistles, just basic care. Leave the big stuff to the big boys in Jackson and Memphis... that's where the patients are going anyway.

The Board of Supervisors needs to wake up and admit they made a huge mistake in hiring Ray Humphreys. It's time for a change in leadership. I doubt that we could do much worse. Greenville deserves better and we should hold our elected officials accountable to correct its sins of the past.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Say What?

This writer takes us back to 1994...

Check out the Delta Democrat Times, May 16, 1994, p. 1:

"Class of '94 has two words to say: Goodbye Delta"

"Ask members of Washington County's Class of 1994 where they plan to live and the answer won't be the Delta."

"Of 227 graduating seniors surveyed by the Delta Democrat Times, only 44, or roughly 19 percent, said they want to come back to the Delta. Their reasons for leaving range from the typical teen wanderlust to serious thought-out arguments for living elsewhere."

"Do you want the whole list, or just the top 10?" asked Heather McTeer, T. L. Weston senior. "There are no jobs, the high crime rate, area does not accept change, TOO many mosquitoes . . . ."

Be sure to vote in this year's elections for Mayor and City Council.

A Greenville "Racist"

Ouch! The good news is that Heather was telling us the truth in 1994. The bad news is... it's still the truth in 2007... but now she's the mayor. Good job, Heather!


Monday, June 25, 2007

A Tragic Tale

The following is a very sad and disturbing tale of one person's experiences at DRMC:

My mother died on October first of 2006. I will carry the guilt of the fact that I let her stay at DRMC too long for the rest of my life. My mother was 80 years old, but not like most 80 year olds she was still very full of life. She was the mother of 8 children and a grandmother of 24 and a great grand mother of 20 and a great-great grandmother of 3, she loved us all and she loved life.

It all started with a fractured pelvis, the nurses on 2 east let her fall out of the bed after we had told them she was not herself, because she had contracted a urinary tract infection from a catheter that had not been cleaned and managed properly. She was so out of it she thought she could walk. We asked them to please keep the rails up on the bed, their comment was it was against the law we found out later that if the family requests it they could, well duh we thought we had requested it when we asked them to keep the rails up, anyway when she fell out of the bed, and they finally put her back in the bed she coded and aspirated.

She wound up in ICU with a 10% chance of survival. Guess what, she survived! Dr Amita Patel wanted us to pull her off all machines, she even showed my niece and myself what could happen if she did survive. There was a man in ICU eyes all swollen and rolled back in his head, on a vent and a dialysis machine, a worse case example. Thank God we said no. She had pneumonia, sepsis (blood poison) and something called clostridium defecil (CD) which can be deadly by itself. It's from taking so many antibiotics, but she survived.

Mama was in and out of the hospital many times between April 5 and September 28, she had not eaten solid food since July 4 2006. She was at Washington care for rehab to learn how to walk again. By the way they took the best care they could of her, but I do want to add family should always check up on family members in homes regardless of where they are. I could tell you when something was wrong just by the way my mother would talk or look at me, and I'm no Dr.

Back to the food, they said that sometimes when you are on so many antibiotics it will kill your appetite, Bless her heart she fought so hard. On Sept. 22 we took her back to the hospital because she started throwing up the little bit of soup she was eating, they had already removed her gall bladder about a month before this but she still couldn't eat, during the time of the GB surgery we asked over and over if they would move her to Jackson. We were told if WE could find a dr. that would take her then sure they would move her.

My brother through connections he had with Baptist hospital found 3 Dr. that said they would take her. By the time they finished talking to Patel they had all 3 refused. We told them everything we knew that was wrong with her. This time after 6 days of hospitalization and no answers I get a call saying they are sending her back to Washington Care. I asked Patel on the phone to Please send her to Jackson, her response was I am not sending her to Jackson by ambulance for throwing up and have them laugh at me. She said the only way we could take her to Jackson was by car, so they released her to me.

By the time I got to St. Dominics, (keep in mind my mother was alert on the trip there) The ST. D. staff told us in 5 hours more than they had in 6 days at DRMC. My mothers diagnosis was, are you ready for this, Staph all over her body, so bad it was oozing out of her skin, Sepsis, Yeast in her Gut, pneumonia, she was suffering from SEVERE malnutrition, dehydration., her kidneys were shutting down, her liver was shutting down and her intestines were already shut down.

Please if you love your family members, take my advice don't leave them here. I will have to live with the decisions I made for the rest of my life. I miss her terribly, and suing the hospital and Dr. won't bring her back, it will just keep the wounds open. The best thing I can do is tell my story, and try to keep someone else from making the same horrible mistake I did.

I would love to believe that this is an isolated incident and that this tragedy could never happen again. The truth; however, is that it is not an uncommon outcome in today's hospitals... and not just at DRMC.

So who is to blame for this untimely death? There are so many possibilities. Obviously, many medical professionals (nurses and physicians) came in contact with this patient and all misdiagnosed, or ignored, her obvious symptoms.

Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) and MRSA infections are among the greatest dangers in a hospital today and are directly related to poor cleanliness and improper infection control techniques used by the staff (often, simple hand washing). A first year nursing student should have been able to identify most of this patient's symptoms.

So, should DRMC be held accountable? Yes, because it is the hospital administration's responsibility to:
  1. Ensure the cleanliness of the hospital to prevent deadly infections
  2. Ensure the competence of its staff through medical credentialing and/or competency assessment. Simply holding a license does not indicate competence.
  3. Respect the wishes of both the patient and of family members with regard to issues of safety, dignity as well as patient care.
  4. Ensure that patients are not denied treatment, or medical consultation due to their inability to pay.

At the end of the day, no "one" is to blame for this patients untimely death. She simply got caught in that "perfect deadly storm" of ignorance, incompetence and sloth and consequently paid, the greatest price.


Deltans Speak Up About "Delta"

The letters keep rolling in about DRMC. All of the letters below were recently received. Since they all pertain to DRMC, I thought that I would post them as a group. All were submitted anonymously, so I don't know if they are from one author or five. I do know that they all seem to share a general "lack of confidence" in the leaders of our community and the quality of our medical center.

Anonymous said...
The current DRMC project was advertised and bid. HUD is financing the project and required that all bidders have hospital renovation experience. They received several bids and the Greenwood company was the successful low bidder. I do think any local company bid the general contract, but we are aware of several local contractors that were awarded subcontracts.

Anonymous said...
Yes, Ray was most certainly fired along with all other Officers at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg for gross mis-management of the facility after it was purchased by a for-profit corporation. He was given 6-12 months to make an improvement but could not because of the poor state of affairs. He was fired and without a job. The last resort was DRMC and now he has that facility in the same state of affairs.

Anonymous said...
Speaking of an Empty ER....the old one is being renovated,with no clear indication of where one should go in case of an emergency. For myself, spouse and I have an agreement that if one of us is suddenly taken ill, we'd prefer to be driven to Jackson or Memphis in case of an emergency, rather than face near-certain death in DRMC.

Anonymous said...
Competition is good for the soul. But, when it comes to drmc no one seems to care about quality health care and the cost associated with it. How much property does the county rent for all the services scattered all over town. How much of the hospital is not being used and how about KDH property that is not being used. Why can't the services be located in county owned property and the money being spent on rental property be used to reduce cost. WHO IS MANAGING THE FUNDS. This a waste of our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...
Hey Greenville, wake up! And get the hell out of there before you get sick and need a Doctor. This is just one more factor in the demise of Greenville due to incompetent leadership. The leaders don’t care, haven’t you guys figured that out yet? (maybe a couple do, but they are in the minority, and that would be the white minority) All the others are stuffing their pockets and patting their followers on the head saying, “Ain’t Ya’ll glad we be in charge now?” “Ain’t life grand for you Brothers and sisters now?” Get out, get out while you can…..

I can't add much to this!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sharing the Blame

Anonymous writer on Outrage:

I certainly agree, we need to keep Greenville money and jobs to Greenville, if at all possible. I have a question, why did all react to the City screw up and nothing was said about the County? Our County officials and DRMC Ray Humphreys have contracted with Greenwood contractors for the update and remodel of DRMC. What is the difference?? Nothing!

What is even crazier is, less than two years ago, Humphreys was planning the third hospital and the shutdown and abandonment of DRMC and KD. Thank goodness certain people screamed about that idiocy! Apparently it slowed Humphreys down and made the Supervisors re-think their open check book policy and re-assess how much the county had already spent over the years to keep these places current and remodeled--Millions!!! And he was going to abandon them or "rent" them ??? Stupid!

If he saw no use for the buildings, who else (in our impoverished economy) could see potential or could afford them otherwise?? By the way, has anyone ever found out why Ray Humphreys was "dismissed" from Forrest General Hospital Administration? Stories are that he was running the place and the doctors into bankruptcy. Seems likely to me from what we see now. Leave it to our Greenville leaders at that time to choose a candidate that had already screwed up one city and county with bad business practice. Oh yeah we need more of that! *sarcasm*

I was unaware of the Greenwood contractor doing the remodel on DRMC, but the questions is... did they accept bids? If local contractors were at least given a chance to bid on the job, that is more than the city offered. The bid system is designed to give the job to the best (not the lowest) bidder. It the process was followed and Greenwood won the bid fairly, then I see no problem.

However, I can understand the writer's skepticism, given that the only person less fiscally accountable than our city leaders, is Ray Humphreys. As for the Hattiesburg fiasco, that is true, although it was not Forrest General, it was Wesley Medical Center. At any rate, he almost bankrupt them before he was literally run out of town.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Unhealthy Competition"

Anonymous said...

"Peter Drucker and other economists have stated that without competition, any organizations will become incompetent and fail. DRMC no longer has KDH as competition. They lied about how they bought the hospital and are now beginning to become bankrupt because no decent, honest, moral, ethical RN or other medical staff wants to work there. "

There is much truth in this comment; however, don't be fooled into believing that DRMC has no competition. Patients who can afford to choose their health care providers do so... in Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock, etc. The only reason that the doors are still open at DRMC is because most Deltans are uninsured and misinformed about the quality of care that is locally available.

Greenville still has some excellent physicians and nurses, but the number that have recently departed as a direct result of Ray Humphreys' arrogance and incompetence is astounding. Medical personnel do not want to work in an environment of hostility and intimidation.

The Board of Supervisors refuses to acknowledge their mistake in hiring Ray, and therefore continue to sit idly by as our doctors, nurses and patients flee the Delta for a better health care environment.

Greenville needs to speak up on this one before you find yourself being wheeled through the doors of an empty ER.


Monday, June 18, 2007

A "Confederacy of Dunces"

Anonymous reader speaks up...

OUTRAGE! Yet another Greenville citizen is dead because of DRMC incompetence. Terry Huang, owner of the Hunan, died Monday in Memphis after being mismanaged for over 12 hours at DRMC. I know the medical system there from the inside and it is broken.

In 2007, this man died from something that doctors have been successfully treating since 1920. In 20 years of working in the medical field, I have never heard of someone dying from what he died from, even in third-world countries. I hope the Huang's sue DRMC out of business. There should be a state and federal investigation.

I too, have heard the reports of Terry Huang's untimely death, and express my condolences to his wife and family for the loss of this truly bright and talented man.

But why are we so surprised? Countless contributors to the Scoop have written of the horrendous conditions that exist at DRMC as well as the lack of competent staff, and yet we continue to allow our health care system to be ruined by its "Confederacy of Dunces!" The current administration is arrogant, corrupt and uncaring.

Latest word on the street is that DRMC will soon lose 5 of its 6 ER physicians. It seems that the ER Docs have had enough of Ray and his incompetent administration's inability to staff the hospital with qualified nurses. A physician recently told me that the entire ER is staffed with high paid "contract" nurses who fly in for a two week stint and then disappear.

The night that I took my son there for a fractured arm, we were there over five hours. Most of the time was spent simply waiting for staff to do their job...lab, radiology and finally a doctor. I don't think I even saw a nurse there that evening.

The issue that puzzles me most is how DRMC can continue to boast of its designation as a "Level II Trauma Center." In order to be verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level II Trauma Center, you must provide "24-hour-a-day commitment by the medical staff, including trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic specialists."

I continue to hear horror stories from patients who were told that their "emergency" would have to wait because no specialist was on call. DRMC’s only neurosurgeon was just “laid off” by Ray Humphreys. Why?

As for 24 hour-a-day orthopedic coverage, I doubt that is possible now that they are down to one orthopedist. How are they going to run an ER with only one physician left? These are the issues that need to be investigated at both the state and federal levels.

As always, there are many more questions than answers at DRMC. "Outrage" certainly seems to be the theme of the month for Greenvillians. Our apathy toward the blatant arrogance and incompetence of our elected and appointed "leaders" have cost us millions of dollars in revenue this month, and now another precious life, which is priceless.


Friday, June 15, 2007

The "Slap" Heard 'round the City

Anonymous writer responds:

"Sad to say, this outrage was not "illegal." This is so because "professional services," such as engineering services, are not "required" by state law to be bid. Nevertheless, in the recorded history of the City, there has never been such a contract awarded without a "request for proposals" being publicly issued to all qualified businesses."

"The local firms never knew what hit them -- the Council simply awarded what will be the largest engineering contract in the City's history to an out-of-town firm with no input from anyone. It seems to be a deliberate slap in the face to two local businesses -- businesses which pay local taxes, employ local citizens and have a direct stake in Greenville -- in favor of an outside business whose only apparent qualification is that it seems to be -- but is, in actuality, not -- a "minority contractor."

"The Council's action in this regard is bewildering, is indefensible, and -- to the extent that anyone cares -- is insulting to the intellect of any informed citizen, Black or White."

"This decision, more than any other since the "changing of the guard," validates the worst fears of the thinking citizens of Greenville -- again, Black or White."

"Buy Greenville?" Yeah, right.

"I guess we'll do that unless we have an opportunity to buy from a business which has nothing whatsoever to do with Greenville, which has no stake whatsoever in Greenville, which pays no taxes in Greenville, which employs no Greenvillians or which can only find its way to Greenville with a map -- but which can claim to be a "minority enterprise."

"I look forward to a rebuttal from the elected officials who voted in favor of this travesty. "

I wouldn't sit up nights waiting for a rebuttal from this group. It is obvious that they don't believe they are accountable to anyone, including voters.

Granted, the council's decision was not "illegal"... just under-handed politics as usual. If our elected officials don't "believe in Greenville" enough to offer a local request for proposals, we are indeed a city which is doomed.

Okay, Economic Development Council, what say you? Madame Mayor just made your jobs a little bit tougher! It's hard to sell a city that won't buy from itself.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Bigotry: Alive and Well

Ex-Greenvillian writes:

"I lived in G-Ville for over five years; thank God I was able to get out! I was even lucky enough to find a sucker to buy my house and I actually made a little money on the sale. That was three years ago, I guess I would even have a hard time selling it for a lot loss now."

"I must say, as I pulled out of town on my last day I sighed breath of relief. I was so sick of the hatred and bigotry I experienced there, and I'm talking about the reverse discrimination of the Black leaders to anyone white. The likes of the Rankins, Hudsons, Giffiths, etc will not be happy till every position with any kind of authority is filled by a Black. "

"Just look at what those idiots did to Bill Serate! Now they can put one of their "own" in that position, that’s what that was all about anyway. And Bill, he has a much better job in a much better city, and you can bet he’ll take some of the business he could have secured for G-ville to Vicksburg. (Good for him)"

"But the really sad part of the demise of G-ville is the fact that all the blacks that think or thought things will be better now that “our people” are in charge are in worse shape than ever, and the only blacks that are better off are the “Black Good Old Boys Network”.

"The poor blacks just don’t seem to get it, so I don’t feel sorry for them, let them cheer on their leaders and continue to live in a crime infested dilapidated dying city. It really will be Mound Greenville in a shorter time than the folks think. White flight is happening and will continue. Game over. "

This writer's philosophy reminds me of an early letter to the Scoop (pre-Hudson), in which the author posed the question... "Who are they going to blame when every city and county official is black, and things continue to get worse every day?"

"Good Ole Boy Networks", whether black or white, have long been a by-product of local politics in the Delta, which only supports my belief that Greenville's current plight is not the result of which race is currently in "power". Who among us believes that blacks want crime and drugs in their neighborhoods and schools?

The reality is that crime and drugs do pay in the Delta, and with very little risk of being caught. Crime is simply a business and like all businesses, if some group were not profiting from it, it would cease to exist. Are the police and politicians "on the take"? Sure, some are and always have been, but at the end of the day, we have only ourselves to blame for allowing it.

So, is there hope for Greenville? Sure, there is always hope. NYC was able to clean up the crime-ridden Time's Square section of their city to almost "Disney-like" standards. How did it happen? It happened when a small group of people stood up and shouted, "I am as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!" It scared both the criminals and the politicians into believing that change could happen...and in ten short years, it did.

We probably need to start tomorrow.


Thursday, June 07, 2007


Anonymous writer vents:

There should be a public outrage for the mayor and 3 council members voting to hire an engineering firm from JACKSON! It appears that a fee of $513,000 will be leaving Greenville!!!!!!!

We have 2 very competent Engineering Firms with deep family roots in Greenville. The Burles & Hookers both have contributed to the local community in many ways. Both have properties here and pay a huge tax bill every year! What a slap in the face!!

I am totally disgusted that my tax money is leaving Greenville!!!!

We should all be outraged! Not just because local engineering firms didn’t win the bid, but because the city failed to even advertise that they were taking bids for this project. The local engineers never got a chance to submit a bid.

By law, city and county governments are required to follow a very strict and well defined bid letting procedure. (Any competent attorney would know this.) The purpose of this law is to ensure that all bidders (particularly minorities) have a fair chance at submitting the lowest bid, thus winning the contract.

By allowing the city to circumvent this law, the mayor is promoting this illegal practice. So, the questions arise…

Who selected this Jackson based firm and on what basis?

How do we know that nepotism or some other form of “quid pro quo” is not steering the council’s decision?

We don’t... because the law that prevents this type of illegal activity has been ignored. Apparently, our Mayor and City Council don't "Believe in Greenville", nor do they have any respect for the laws that govern their authority as elected public servants. This is just another example of the "abuse of power" that has characterized Ms. Hudson's first term in office.

Yes, we should all be outraged and we should make our voices heard by calling the mayor and our council members to express our wishes to have this illegal decision overturned. As for our economic development council's efforts to sell Greenville with slogans like "Buy Here" and "Keep your money in the Delta", I would say that we've all been sold down the river.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Pride and Potholes

"Local Reflector" comments:

"I hate to see such a nasty tumble in price on an "expensive" property, but while I was in G'ville, I never understood how the tax collectors could justify valuing properties upward in price when it was obvious that over 400 hundred people (not including deaths which took people way) were leaving the area."

"There's no "new" money coming into the Delta, so expecting to turn properties might be difficult. I used to write about the shrinking middle class and how outward migration trends with this demographic aren't getting attention."

"Nice work on the blog, Fortright. I hope Delta Scoop catches back on with a couple hundred readers and a dozen regular contributors. "

Thanks, LR. I share your lament of the "down-sizing" of Greenville. The early 1980's gave us a population just under 50,000. Today, it is closer to 37,000, and shrinking. In the Delta a loss of 13,000 taxpayers should be triggering the panic button for our newly established economic development council. Instead, they ask us to focus on the "positives" of our city.

  • Is it positive that my children had to attend a private school in order to achieve a basic education?
  • Is it positive that my 2 year old car just had its suspension realigned due to the bottomless potholes on our streets?
  • Is is positive that my home has been on the market over three years without a bid even close to the appraisal?
  • Is it positive that I took my child to DRMC's emergency room and waited 5 hours before being seen?
  • Is it positive that we can't keep any type of revenue generating shows or festivals in Greenville? We have tried horse shows, dog shows, balloon fests, literary fests, and car shows. None have been sustained.
  • Is it positive that approximately 32% of Greenville residents drive over 30 miles a day in order to maintain employment? (Gas at $3.00 per gallon, you do the math.)

At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, "I just don't get it." I suppose we should be thankful for the handful of runners who jogged through our streets last weekend, bringing with them some revenue. However, I am more thankful that one of them didn't disappear into a pothole on Washington Avenue and that Mike Wallace won't be hosting"60 Minutes" next Sunday from our "entertainment district."

Perhaps we need to focus less on the "positives" of Greenville and more on its "opportunities for improvement." We are like beggars who are thankful for every crumb that is tossed our way. Until we get actively involved in promoting Greenville, in new and innovative ways, we will continue to wither on the vine.