Saturday, May 26, 2007

State Slams former Keys Health Chief

Key West,Florida. By Alyson Crean Revised 5-26-07

Investigation finds misspent money, illegal staff orders

A month after her resignation after three years on the job, a state investigation has disclosed that former Monroe County Health Department Director Susana May refused treatment to some patients, misappropriated state money and was rude to her staff and associates.

A report issued April 5 by the Office of the Inspector General from the Florida Department of Health and signed off by Director of Investigations Charles Page responds to numerous complaints against May.

Among the findings, May:

Spent thousands of dollars on food and refreshments despite department policy that prohibits such spending.

Made threatening statements to Health Department employees.

Issued a directive to employees to deny treatment for patients with sexually transmitted diseases if the patients were unable to pay.

Gave excessive and unauthorized pay raises to several employees “when funds were tight.”

Cut off funding to two local non-profits with little or no warning.

Disrupted operation of an emergency shelter during a hurricane evacuation by what one witness said was “constantly yelling and screaming down the halls demanding things be done differently...”

In probably the most scathing finding, the investigation discovered that May directed staffers to demand that all patients pay for services, despite state law that says the Health Department cannot deny communicable-disease services based on patients' inability to pay.

If they cannot pay, May wrote in the directive, “All patients for [sexually transmitted diseases] should have a chart made up and the counseling and referral documented. In this way, we cannot be accused of refusing care.”

abridged for brevity read it all here >>

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