Despite agreeing to continue attending the brain injury summits, the New York State Department of Health today was a no-show. The snub was a blatant act of disrespect for the groups who did attend the second Brain Injury Summit: The Brain Injury Association of New York State, the New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, the Providers Alliance and the Kahrmann Advocacy Coalition. Moreover, it further underscored the ongoing problem of poor communication on the part of DOH, a problem DOH Deputy Commissioner Mark Kissinger acknowledged the DOH has at the first summit this past September.
The snub served to further enhance the view that the DOH has very little respect for brain injury survivors. The DOH didn’t even have the decency tell people they weren’t coming. Keep in mind, this is the lot that gave the “keys” back to PhD-Wannabe Timmy Feeney.
The summit attendees did very much agree on a response. Given the response was a group design, it would be inappropriate for me to elaborate, other than to say the response is rooted in a genuine care and concern and commitment to assure that brain injury survivors and providers are given the kind of support and clarity they deserve.
I can also tell you that all in attendance were heartfelt and genuine in their commitment to help brain injury survivors grow their independence and, it must also be said, that all in attendance, this writer included, continued to express a willingness to work with the DOH.
However, if you’ll allow me a shot at pointing out the obvious, it is hard to work with anyone who doesn’t bother to show.
The third summit is scheduled for February 11, 2011.