Wednesday, November 5, 2008
To: Mr. Robert H. Bezanson, President and CEO of CoxHealth: (his picture is enclosed above.)
This is to inform you of a former patient of yours that you are CEO of CoxHealth. Speaking of your affiliate a.k.a. Burrell Behavorial Health located in Springfield, Missouri, it is in a problematic stage. It is a mental health crisis for the Deaf community of Springfield, Missouri. I am asking you to take the time to read the letter I got from a patient of yours.
I am not bounded by HIPPA stuff so she asked me to spread this word. I am obliged as a Deaf Advocate to spread the truth beyond the walls of audism and colonialism. I am requesting that you act as CEO to resolve this matter. I am requesting the removal of Todd Schaible. He is responsible for problems brewing at Burrell Behavorial Health.
Here is the story -
A deaf patient from Springfield writes:
"When I asked you who I can write to, you helped me find some people. You understand that we need help. We need someone to listen and help us.
Our family went to Marcia Brewer as our counselor. We had family problems. We talked about how to communicate with our three hearing daughters, and about problems fighting in our marriage (we are both Deaf). It began to improve a little. The girls learned to respect each other and their parents instead of fighting. Marcia showed us how to not let them take advantage of their Deaf parents. (They were not happy about that!) We practiced how to sit down and discuss things instead of yelling. The children learned how to write out what happened so we could understand their story and decide how to punish.
Then all of the sudden they stopped us. They told us we had to pick one person to see Marcia. The other people in my family must go see another counselor with an interpreter.
We decided not to do that way. We did not feel comfortable with a strange new counselor and different interpreters. We don't know them. We had to start all over again from the beginning with a new counselor, talk about our past. The other counselors really don't know about Deaf situations. Like we had a rope down in the well, and were starting to climb out. Then the CEO decided to cut the rope and let us fall back in.
We noticed hearing people did not have to do it that way - split up their families in the middle of counseling. Why did he cut only DEAF ropes? I said this in the newspaper, but he said it is not true. It did happen to us. It is true.
Our problems got worse in our family. My husband and I fight a lot. The kids got fed up and don't want to be around us. They moved out to live with Grandma. I don't know if my husband and I will stay together long. The bank is ready to foreclose on our house. I have so much depression, but no help. I am working and trying to take care of my children.
I am sending you this letter to complain about Burrell. They discriminated on Deaf. Marcia resigned when all the other Deaf left too. Now we need a counselor but there is no counselor there that signs and knows more about Deaf situations.
I wrote a letter to Phil McClendon at the Mental Health Commission. I asked him why this happened to us (Deaf). He sent it to Monica Hoy. She wrote me a letter Burrell always has one counselor for one family member only. But that is a lie. Hearing families can work with the same counselor! Now the CEO is acting like he did not do anything wrong, like he didn't say that to us. But I have the letter.
It feels like when hearing people complain, someone listens to them. They get a chance to speak, and get an answer. When Deaf people like me complain, it is like a tiny tap that nobody notices. I told Mr. McClendon this terrible thing happened. And I get a big lie back. "Don't pay attention to her...she is deaf...just tell her anything and she will go away..." I do not mean this against Mr. McClendon personally.
Our family is falling apart. We need help really bad. We are not the only ones. We are proud, and smart, and capable, just like any hearing family. We are willing to do our part, to change to make our situation better. We are not helpless beggars. When hearing people are in crisis, they can go to a counselor and still feel respect for themselves. They don't have to beg and say "OH THANK YOU for helping us!" We want to get some help, work on our problems, and have a better life. We did that at Burrell, and then it stopped.
WILL ANYONE WORK WITH US TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SITUATION OF DEAF IN MISSOURI?? We need to do it fast..."
So what is the matter with you people at Burrell and CoxHealth? You need sensitivity training in understanding Deaf culture. This reeks of audism, paternalism, and colonialism.
We need to contact these following people on the board of CoxHealth to ask them to terminate Todd Schaible and implement the programs to meet the needs of Deaf patients.
The board directors of CoxHealth are:
Loren Broaddus, MD
Charles H. Chalender
Pierre Clothiaux, MD
Judge John C. Crow
Patricia Dix, MD
Donald R. Duncan
Dona K. Elkins
Robert C. Glazier
C. Jeffery Gower, DDS
Larry D. Halverson, MD
Sam F. Hamra
James W. Hutcheson
Jerry G. Jared
Richard Kissell, MD
Larry W. Lipscomb
Donald G. Martin Sr.
Kenneth E. Meyer
Chris W. Nattinger
Michael T. Nietzel, PhD
Joseph M. Post
Robert E. Roundtree
Robert H. Spence
John P. Squires
John Wolfe, MD
Please be sensitive to the needs of Deaf patients. This looks like a legal remedy is needed to resolve the problems at Burrell Behavorial Health, an affiliate of CoxHealth.
Thank you for taking time to read this!
- a private citizen-