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DeJongh's legacy: JFL shuttered

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Trusted Member

How do you lose a dead baby?

Just sell the hospital to a private sector operator and get it over with.

The buck stops with deJongh. He did not provide a board for oversight.

Topic starter Posted : September 22, 2014 12:51 pm

How do you lose a dead baby?

Just sell the hospital to a private sector operator and get it over with.

I would agree. The VI Legislature has paid Millions of Dollars to subsidize both hospitals that they coninue to manage to run into the ground. Throwing good money after bad.
Have you noticed EVERYTHING our VI Government has it's fingers in, is not well run and consistantly loses money?

And by the way......our roads aren't in such great shape considering the millions that have been spent on them.

Posted : September 22, 2014 1:05 pm

How do you lose a dead baby?

Just sell the hospital to a private sector operator and get it over with.

The buck stops with deJongh. He did not provide a board for oversight.

I heard (rumor) that DJ did recommend STX members, but that they have to be approved by the joint board, who has not acted.

Can you check into this?

Posted : September 22, 2014 1:35 pm
Trusted Member

Just read about how much good Slick Willy did for Haiti. Maybe we could get him to come help our government as well…

And the world just keeps on spinning...

Posted : September 22, 2014 1:36 pm
Trusted Member

A friend of mine is one of the appointees. The territorial board must meet and approve. In order to approve the meeting has to have a quorum. They seem to have difficulty with the quorum part.

How do you lose a dead baby?

Just sell the hospital to a private sector operator and get it over with.

The buck stops with deJongh. He did not provide a board for oversight.

I heard (rumor) that DJ did recommend STX members, but that they have to be approved by the joint board, who has not acted.

Can you check into this?

Posted : September 22, 2014 1:59 pm

I heard (rumor) that DJ did recommend STX members, but that they have to be approved by the joint board, who has not acted.

He did nominate Dexter Skepple earlier this year but that gentleman subsequently withdrew with no explanation. One of the problems with nominating board members is that they not only need to be competent to serve but also willing to serve. One can't arbitrarily assume that DeJongh hasn't approached prospective members.

Posted : September 22, 2014 2:01 pm

lose a dead baby? are you serious.

a lot of people have medicare ( or is it medicaid ) and another insurance and dont pay any other out of pocket expenses. true-almost all are in the states.

Posted : September 22, 2014 3:03 pm
Trusted Member

My mistake - Its the Senate that has to confirm.

ST. CROIX - Gov. John deJongh Jr. has nominated two people to the Luis Hospital board in a move that - if they receive Senate confirmation - would allow the board to conduct the hospital's business for the first time in a year.

DeJongh in June submitted to Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone the names of Kimberly Jones and Troy de Chabert-Schuster as candidates for the Luis Hospital board.

The two St. Croix residents have to go through a Senate confirmation process, but if they get a nod from the 30th Legislature, they would fill enough seats on the depleted board for it to muster a quorum.

Sen. Sammuel Sanes, chairman of the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee, said he wants to move the nominees through the process as quickly as possible and is trying to get a date set for a hearing.

A friend of mine is one of the appointees. The territorial board must meet and approve. In order to approve the meeting has to have a quorum. They seem to have difficulty with the quorum part.

How do you lose a dead baby?

Just sell the hospital to a private sector operator and get it over with.

The buck stops with deJongh. He did not provide a board for oversight.

I heard (rumor) that DJ did recommend STX members, but that they have to be approved by the joint board, who has not acted.

Can you check into this?

Posted : September 22, 2014 3:04 pm
Trusted Member

lose a dead baby? are you serious.

See prefix tag 392 of this report

"It was reported to CMS on April 14, 2014, that the
remains of a 22 week old fetus had been tossed
out either in the rubbish or laundry."

Posted : September 22, 2014 3:10 pm
Advanced Member

Who would want to take on the liability of being on that board?

Just sell the hospital to a private operator and be done with it.

Throw in WAPA to sweeten the deal.

Posted : September 22, 2014 3:10 pm
Trusted Member

1. No private company wants a hospital with unequal Medicaid funding, no Obamacare, and a governor who doesn't pay his bills. Add cost of energy.
2. Sanes has a bill to make Stx hospital a satellite of STT. He is lying outright when he is pretending now about finding board members.
3. The board had only 5 of 9 members until 2013 when Griffith took over after Nelson resigned after they found out he was lying. DeJongh never attempted to name anyone until 2014.
4. Skepple withdrew his name after it was learned that $150,000 I. His employees withholding was stolen, never paid to IRB. That is only slightly less than the $180,000 that Chucky owes/owed.

They could fire Griffith. Except there is no board! This is DeJongh's fault. The buck stops with him. The first criticism in the report is that there is no district governing board to provide oversight. He an he alone has been responsible for nominations since 2007. Griffith has been there a year and it was already on probation when he came on board.

Topic starter Posted : September 22, 2014 6:20 pm

There are quite a few boards that don't have a quorum thanks to absentee members even when there are enough members for a board therefore it makes them useless.

Posted : September 22, 2014 7:39 pm
Trusted Member

There are quite a few boards that don't have a quorum thanks to absentee members even when there are enough members for a board therefore it makes them useless.

This is not the case at JFL. There are no absentee members. Dejong has refused to appoint a full board. For several years, there were only 5 of 9 members while deJongh was in office. Every meeting was 100% attendance.

He and Senator Sanes with their bill to make JFL a satellite of RLS wanted this to happen.

The government's lack of payment of outstanding VIPD, Corrections, Herbert Grigg, and Workman's Comp bills in the tens of millions$.
The removal of the hospital from the government payroll
The loss of nurses to the eight percent cut and early retirement that the hospital could not override.
The halving of the budget to reimburse indigent care.
The fact that Stx hospital budget is always several million less than Stt.

This was a concerted effort to shut JFL down so Sanes could make stronger argument to have them annexed by Stt.

Have you ever noticed how Stt roads usually compare to Stx? That is the analogy they wanted.

Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2014 10:27 am
East Ender

I don't think anyone at SRMC wants to have JFL as a satellite. I don't think they want to operate it at all. It has been such a mess for years. SRMC has worked hard to climb out of the pit of despair, no desire to be pulled back in...

Posted : September 23, 2014 12:22 pm

Hate to tell you but our roads here in STT are not so hot considering the millions of dollars of Fed $$$$$$$ spent on them over the years. Can't imagine the condition of STX's, if you think ours are good.

Good luck with JFL.

Here's what Donna Christiansen has to say in a VI Source artcle:
“I spoke to the U.S. Department of Interior Insular Affairs officials and they are prepared to give the hospital some of the funding it needs,” Christensen said. “It is my hope that this will assure CMS that Luis Hospital will get the money they need to correct immediate problems and put them on a path to long-term solutions,” she said.

“I am also calling U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to ask that they treat this as the emergency that it is,” Christensen said Monday. “St. Croix has one hospital. People have no other alternatives. They cannot drive to another county or state to seek care.”

"Christensen said she was also asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prioritize JFL’s High Energy Cost grant request, which would help the hospital cut its energy bills."

To me, that's like putting a band-aid on an open gaping bloody wound.
The problem isn't money. It's how it is being run.
We continue to throw money at JFL and that doesn't work due to the core issues that need fixing. Sure money will fix some of the immediate issues but won't go far enough.

Posted : September 23, 2014 12:58 pm
Advanced Member

Sell it to the private sector. The GVI can't run anything.

Posted : September 23, 2014 1:19 pm
Advanced Member

I'm a registered nurse with over 17 years experience in
non-profit facilities, corporate owned facilities and state
facilities. I have had the privilege of
working in a variety of settings: all critical care areas,
medical, surgical, OR, recovery unit, high-risk Labor &
Delivery, Ante & Postpartum, and disaster relief
areas such as Florida and New Orleans.

I've seen excellent, mediocre and poor health care. Gov Juan
F Luis hospital is the worst I've seen; but not because of
lack of supplies or equipment, not because of a run down
facility, but because of the attitude and lack of
accountability our healthcare community has had; because of
the lack of camaraderie with healthcare workers, and the
lack of community involvement.

For these reasons I do not believe it is only the hospital
at fault that we are now in this healthcare crisis. I
strongly believe the following should all be held
accountable: the hospital staff, our local physicians, CMS,
Joint Commission and our local community.

I left the hospital after 3.5 years because my own
conscience would not allow me to continue to turn a blind
eye to the inhumane treatment our patients received. These
are the things I saw with my own eyes: hep-locks
imbedded in a person's arm, IV tubing and IV sites not
labeled with date, time or initials, dressings that hadn't
been changed for days, bed sores that could have been
prevented, urine and feces saturated diapers on a person all
day, ignored call bells for assistance, wrong medications
given, no medications given, beating patients, refusal to
feed patients that could not feed themselves and force
feeding patients when they took too long to chew and swallow
the food they were being fed, doctors orders not being
carried out, no policy and procedures and out dated policy
and procedures, doctors not responding to calls, doctors not
coming in when called in, poor working diagnostic machines
(x-Ray, CT Scan and MRI) yet billing for the services,
blankets and pillows along with other supplies being taken
home by staff members for their own use, wrong diagnosis
from doctors, radiology staff sending letters to patients
saying they have cancer when in fact they did not, hospital
walls and ceilings dripping with condensation falling into a
patients open abdomen while on the operating room table, and

While in nursing school I was taught that going to a
hospital is like going to visit someone at their home.
That we should treat each patient as if they were a guest in
our own home; that we should treat ALL patients the way we
would want to be treated and the way we would want our loved
ones to be treated.

Shame on all of you involved in his treatment.

To the clinical hospital staff I ask: How can you
continue to turn a blind eye? How can you document
that an IV is clear of signs and symptoms of infection when
you haven't even looked at it? How can you document
that you've carried out an order and really haven't ?
How can you not work together as a team when you know full
well that caring for a patient IS TEAM WORK? Why is it
that those nurses that are now in administration cannot put
on a pair of scrubs and help care for patients when there is
a staff shortage? I was told by the Chief Nursing Officer by
the union laws they are not allowed to treat patients once
they're in administration. Really? Then why did you become a

To the physicians I ask: Is it really about the
money? Because that's what it looks like. Caring for a
patient in a hospital is a "Privilege" for services that you
can charge for. By getting a salary from the hospital as
well as charging for your services is double dipping.
Is it really because a doctor isn't born here on St Croix
that you cannot accept them as colleagues and work together
as comrades? That question is for nurses as

To the administrators I ask: Why is having a title of
CEO, Chief Nursing Officer, Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse
Manager, Clinical Coordinator, etc more important than
"Quality Patient Care"? How is it that at the end of
2013 we still do not have a Scope of Practice for Nurses,
Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, etc? How is
it that we don't have updated policy and procedures for
things like Blood Transfusions? How is it that we
still have inexperienced nurses working triage? How is it
that we still have nursing assistants working as emergency
room technicians without the proper training? How is
that we do not have cardiac monitors in every ER exam
room? Where are we supposed to get our patients for
the new Cardiac Care Center if our front door (the Emergency
Room) is not prepared? Do we really need sooooo many
administrators when we have such a "global" shortage of
nurses? What about overseeing the housekeeping
staff? Surely this small facility could be a little
cleaner. What is it that you are

To the community I ask: How is it that the community
hasn't come together to address these issues as well?
Why is the community going off island for healthcare
treatment? Including the same doctors that were born
here and live and their family members? Why is the
community not actively protesting to have better
healthcare? Why aren't asking questions and demanding
answers? Why is the community NOT
OUTRAGED!!!!!! at our healthcare here in the
territory? It is your body, the body of your friends
and family that are being neglected, mistreated and
misdiagnosed. Do you not care about yourself and loved
ones? And lastly you need to know that most of us got
into healthcare because we really do care. We're not here to
give you a hard time; we're here to take care of you and
your loved ones. So when we ask something of you please
remember that. It doesn't help when you treat us badly
like cussing at us or threatening us with harm. You
cannot put a price on saving someone's life. We don't get
paid that much!

To Joint Commission and CMS (Center for Medicare &
Medicaid Services) I ask: If a hospital is to report
to both agencies as governing bodies then surely you should
be held accountable as well. Clearly the hospital did
not get to this point over night? Both agencies also
turned a blind eye. If you hadn't our hospital would not be
in the situation it is in today.

CMS is the agency that governs Medicare and Medicaid
services. It sets the rules and regulations hospitals,
long-term facilities and laboratories must follow and meet.

"Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously
improve health care for the public, in collaboration with
other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations
and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective
care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission
evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care
organizations and programs in the United States. An
independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint
Commission is the nation's oldest and largest
standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. To
earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of
Approval™, an organization must undergo an on-site survey
by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three
years. (Laboratories must be surveyed every two
years.)"---copied from

----did you hear that-----every 3 years for the facility and
every 2 years for the laboratory!!! Where were these
guys? Not here, or maybe they were paid

I've often wondered why the United States needs two agencies
to oversee the requirements that are mandated by "one"
CMS. It just sounds like more money for us tax payers
to pay.

And lastly to our local government I ask: All of this
starts with you, the government. What are you thinking
of? These are your people you are representing, yet
you too leave the territory for better healthcare. Why
aren't you taking stronger actions for us regarding
healthcare? Why is it that individuals still cannot
get health insurance here? It's been over 3 years now.
How much longer are you going to negate what is rightfully
ours? This community trusted you and the education you
received to do better for us. You have
failed us as well. You should be setting the example for
those of us in the community and yet you shame us.
This hospital was set up to fail from the beginning it was
just a matter of time before it finally was brought to the
forefront. An organization that has so many people in
high paying positions cannot sustain without falling at some
point. An organization that has no inventory control cannot
sustain with falling. An organization that continues to turn
a blind eye at the inhumane treatment of another human being
cannot sustain without falling! An organization that
does not hold itself or it's governing body accountable
cannot sustain without falling. There are too many variables
to deal with on a daily basis, including but not limited to
the constant changes and demands from CMS and our local

So now for some solutions:

--This community MUST!!!!!!!! Get REALLY, REALLY ANGRY!!!
--This community MUST!!!!! Get INVOLVED and EDUCATED in
basic healthcare current events.
--This community MUST!!!!!! Raise it's standards and stop
accepting mediocre at best.
--This community MUST!!!!! Pay attention to their own
healthcare as a whole and STOP blaming the healthcare
professionals. Ask your nurses and doctors questions
so that YOU understand what exactly is happening to you and
what exactly are YOU being treated
for. Keep a list of your medications, past
medical and surgical history and your doctors names and
phone numbers in your wallet. Know what each
medication is and why you are taking it; not just its color
and size. These are your responsibilities not
ours. The same way healthcare professionals have
responsibilities, so do you.
--This community MUST!!!! Ask CMS and Joint Commission for
an explanation of why they have continued to give the
hospital here accreditation when clearly they shouldn't
have. Also to possibly work a little closer with the
hospital to get it to be where it needs to be to meet the
standard of quality patient care we all deserve.
--This community MUST!!!! Hold the government to their word.


Create a financial analysis. A lot of the money that
is needed is within the hospital.
Create an IT analysis so that we do not continue to spend
money on electronic equipment we do not need. Remember
CMS is constantly changing their requirements. They now want
all electronic health record systems to be web based. I hear
no one talking about the exorbitant amount of money that has
already been spent on these systems.
Create a bartering system where patients that owe money can
work off part of their debt. I.e. Electrical, plumbing,
painting, IT etc., services the hospital needs to maintain
its facility can be done by our own community.


--Get rid of administrators that are clearly NOT really
needed. This is part of the financial analysis.
I'm not saying to fire them, but maybe demote them or
cross-train them to do other needed services. Those who are
nurses should assist as needed when their is a nursing
--Take away doctors salaries from the hospital and allow
them to charge for their "privileges" / services.
--Create up-dated policy and procedures and keep them
updated yearly or as needed.
--Have regularly scheduled in-services for the staff re: the
policy and procedures.
--Create standing orders for the emergency room (ER) for
various common symptoms I.e. Urinary tract infections,
chest pain, shortness of breath, asthma, etc
--Place cardiac monitors in every ER, intensive care unit
(ICU), progressive care unit (PCU) room and have a monitor
tech monitoring them.
--Have only seasoned experienced nurses working triage.
--Have only ER techs assisting Registered Nurses in the ER,
not licensed practical nurses (LPN's) nor certified nursing
assistance (CNA's)/patient care technicians (PCT's).
ER techs can: draw blood, star IV's, get EKG's done,
transport patients, do glucose finger sticks.
--Have CNA's/PCT's assisting LPN'S and RN's on the medical
and surgical wards.
--Have only RN's working in the other critical areas with
CNA's/PCT's assisting.
--Hire a Nurse Educator to offer in-house Continuing
Education classes such as Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced
Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support
(PALS), and Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS),
medication errors, HIV and Aids, EKG monitoring and reading,
infectious disease etc keeping everyone current and up to
date with their licensure requirements.
--Cut back on paid holidays.
--Continually educate staff on the diversified culture we
have in our community. By doing this it can decrease a
lot of the frustration both nurses and patients have
--Hold ALL staff accountable for their actions by doing
regularly scheduled reviews, addressing insubordination
issues and medical errors, etc
--Obtain an inventory supply system such as an Omnicell and
a small staff that monitors inventory control.
--Modify radiology, dialysis and rehabilitation units
-------I'm sure there are many other solutions out

And finally, we all need to look at our own attitude and
make the changes within ourselves. As healthcare
professionals we are taught to improvise when we do not have
the supplies we need. This is a small town where
people working together as human beings can make it a great
town. Not more, better, bigger or faster; just working
with what we already have. Maybe improvising a little
when needed.

This is not a "state side or corporate America" way of doing
things; I believe it's just a humane way of doing
things. It doesn't cost a cent to be kind to one

After putting opinion to paper why do I feel like I've just
wasted my breath? How discouraging .....

Posted : September 23, 2014 3:07 pm
Trusted Member

Thank you. I hope your breath has not been wasted.

Posted : September 23, 2014 3:44 pm

jane, thank you

B & J i am still shaking my head.

Posted : September 23, 2014 4:05 pm

Thank you. I hope your breath has not been wasted.

And I hope you'll copy to all concerned. As I've said before, this sort of thing has been going on cyclically for at least the 30 years I've been here (I can only speak for the St Thomas hospital but it all sounds too familiar); things improve for a while and then the downswing inevitably sets in, and so it goes on. Were it not for the intervention of steely-eyed friends several years ago when I was hospitalized in STT with gross pneumonia, I wouldn't be here today - seriously. Visiting patients there has sometimes been a ghastly experience. I worked for many years at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale-New haven Hospital and my first exposure to the facility on STT had me thinking I was back in the Dark Ages. The archaic infrastructure and lack of common protocols was hard to comprehend ...

As much as I appreciate the truly dedicated staff members who try to do the right thing, I've told many of my friends that if ever there comes a time in the future that I'm seriously in need of medical attention and am non compos mentis, they're to get me out of here whatever it takes!

Posted : September 23, 2014 4:07 pm
Advanced Member

Wow...that was a well written post. Could you write that in a letter to the editor of the Daily News and Avis? Not that many here really care. Virgin Islanders are the most apathetic population I've ever encountered.

Posted : September 23, 2014 4:26 pm
Advanced Member

Thank you B&J for your frank statement. Your personal experience at our hospital only convinces me even more that things are being covered up and hidden by our local gov't who runs our hospital.

Where is the Governor and our Senators on this situation? I haven't heard anything from them since the press conference where Dr. Griffith disputed the findings of the CMS report. I read the entire 112 page report and was APPALLED reading some of the findings on the report.

As usual, I think our local government has their heads buried in the sand, hoping this will just "go away".

Wake up're dealing with the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT now!

Can we fix this? I think we can but something drastic has to change.

Posted : September 23, 2014 4:47 pm
Trusted Member

B&J Please post this to this Facebook page.

Posted : September 23, 2014 4:52 pm
Trusted Member

Let the private sector manage it. At least they know how to bill for services rendered. The government here is too corrupt to be trusted with something as important as people's healthcare.

Posted : September 23, 2014 5:08 pm
Gator's Mom
Trusted Member

Right now, a good working model used across the US is to sell a not-for-profit hospital to a private investor and then create a community foundation with the proceeds. Usually the community foundation then makes grants to agencies and organizations that aim to improve health care/social services in the same community as the hospital.

The sale of JFL would at least create revenue to pay vendors (hopefully) and maybe leave some other monies available for the community - but not much. Maybe any balance of funds could go to the St. Croix Foundation if (when) the hospital is sold.

ACA has changed the directive of CMS and that is it's now all about quality of care. From that devastating heartbreaking report, it will be a difficult if not impossible mountain to climb to remediate these problems, establish the policies and procedures necessary to regain CMS funding and guarantee quality of care for the future.

Personally, I am quite thankful CMS intervened - no one at JFL or in the VI government has cared enough to say STOP. The community must join CMS to assure status quo will not be good enough ever again.

BTW JFL now operates with staffing costs for a hospital twice its size. Anticipate layoffs and HR policy revision of some sort soon. I hope the solution is NOT to hand Griffith his head on a silver platter - he stepped up when there was absolutely no one else willing to be the CEO. JFL was already too far gone for him to be effective. He needs to be thanked and then allowed to be a physician again.

Posted : September 23, 2014 7:24 pm
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