Pete’s blog – #5 – Joe G. asked me to give all an update

Here’s an update from Joe to the update below that we just got:
For now, my PT is on track. She asked me to please allow them to attend my next visit to hanger. I gave the okay, but made it clear that somethings really needed to change, and she agreed. More on all of that later.

I was informed that all is on track for the leg, and that i will be going very soon to pick it up. I also verified that through shelley when i returned. She has been an angel in all of this. This was a doc brain fart. According to ms. Hudson there was a mis communication there as well. She said that hanger could tell us what we wanted to know, but just not dates of appointments (which hanger, i, and all already knew). Ms hudson apologized for that miscommunication with hanger.

From Peter Hasty
Joe G. asked me to give all an update. His tablet has died and he has begun the process, long process, of getting a new one. So he asked that I share the following with you:

Joe went to his scheduled physical therapy session this morning. First, a little back story. When the new physical therapists (Armor, the DOC’s contract health service provider & HMO), took over late last year, they moved PT from the gym to the prison visiting room. The latter is a very busy, high traffic, area: by staff, prisoners, and others. This bothered Joe, and he raised the issue a couple of months ago, and was basically told “we have to make due with what we have.” Because he needed to go through the new therapists to get his more advanced prosthetic leg, he just grit his teeth. Now he has been approved for the new leg, has been fitted for it, and is waiting for his appointment to go pick it up. Back to this morning.

When he arrived in the visiting room this morning there were several prisoners milling about, prison staff, and others (at one point 10 to 15 people). Joe raised the privacy issue again. Much of his PT at this point does not involve the use of his current leg because it does not fit properly (therapist & prosthetist do not want him using it), so he’s usually on the floor doing various exercises, oftentimes wiggling around like a worm, to switch to different positions. He says that he feels like he is being put on display and leaves him feeling a bit embarrassed. He says that it is degrading.

When he pointed this out this morning to his therapist, Ms. Webber, her response was defensive. Again, he was told that it’s “what we have to work with. What’s the problem, you go to assisted living gym & workout?” He replied, ” I do. I work out on the elliptical and sometimes lift weights. I don’t wiggle around on the floor like a worm. I am over there with others with special needs individuals at a time set aside for those with special needs, and not general population prisoners or staff milling about.” She had no response for that. Her attitude was one of ‘oh well, take it or leave it’.

For now it appears that Joe’s physical therapy is on hold. The head physical therapist, Ms. Farley, he is told, plans to meet with him this Friday.

Joe is of the mind that he should not have to choose between basic medical privacy, human dignity, and medically needed physical therapy. He has written to the Assistant Warden, Ms. Harris, about this matter, and has also lodged a formal complaint. He believes his complaint is legit. Physical therapy should be conducted in the gym as it was in the past. During PT sessions the gym was open only to those scheduled for PT. One guard was present at the door, and the recreational therapist was sometimes present. That should remain until Deerfield comes up with a more viable solution to accommodate basic medical privacy & human decency.

Joe lost his leg, not his basic right to the aforementioned. Deerfield is supposed to be, primarily, a medical and geriatric facility. It appears, for whatever reason, to have deviated from its primary objective. This needs to change. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been law since 1991, it is past time that Deerfield comply with it.


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