Is It NY DOH Retaliation?

Those close to me are beginning to think, with some justification it seems, that the New York State Department of Health is not only purposely dragging it’s feet signing off on a life alert and some assistive technology its own RRDC has approved for me, but is, in fact, preparing to boot me off the state’s traumatic brain injury waiver.

The RRDC or Regional Resource Development Center is the contract employee for the DOH that oversees waiver providers in a specific region.

I have not fully drawn this conclusion myself, but I am watching matters very, very, very closely.

It is curious to me that now that I am about to move from one region of the state to another, it appears I may have to qualify for the waiver all over again. It reminds me of times when my closest friend Michael, who lost both his legs in Vietnam, would get a notice from the VA announcing a reduction in his VA benefits. Michael would drive in, point at his legs and say, “Are they growing?”

What has some close to me horrified is their concern that the DOH is, if not willfully, knowingly placing me at risk. I live alone in a rural area with a brain injury, asthma, a heart condition, agoraphobia, PTSD and an on again off again fight with depression. Despite repeated emails to the DOH I can’t get an answer  to why the hold up. It seems to me one of two things (or both come to think of it) are true here. This is retaliation against an advocate or this is s systemic problem and what I am experiencing is being inflicted on brain injury survivors across the state. I’d rather it be the former frankly.

The first request for the life alert and white noise machines was made last March and the final paperwork was in by June and then, of course, no one at DOH mentioned I needed a letter from my MD and now that has been taken care of.

But why retaliation? There are an array of reasons perhaps. I have not been quiet about their utterly irresponsible decision to enter into a contract knowing full well it will bring an unqualified, dishonest bully back into the lives of brain injury survivors, their loved and providers. It is also my understanding they are not particularly fond of having their actions revealed in this blog and perhaps too they are not pleased about a recent grievance I filed against a specific RRDS in the Capitol Region.

In talking to this RRDS about the lag in time for my assistive technology she snidely said, “Well, Peter, you can waste my time by talking on the phone, or, if you really need the life alert like you say you do and you really need the white noise machines like you say you do, why don’t you just hang up, call your doctor and get a letter?” To have someone, anyone, imply that you are somehow feigning the need for a life alert or any form of assistive technology is beyond despicable.

I filed two complaints against this person. One through Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital and one through the DOH. Sunnyview sent me a very informative and responsible letter detailing the outcome of their investigation and the DOH not only has yet to tell me the outcome of their investigation, they’ve promoted this individual to the position of Lead RRDS.

There will be more in this blog on this matter. I will not remain silent when the health and safety and equality of others are placed at risk and  I will not be silent when my health and safety and equality are placed at risk.

On purpose or not, that is exactly what’s happening.


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