Recent days have seen a flurry of information coming out about the Brattleboro Retreat. After having devoted over 25 years of service as an R.N. to this institution, I need to speak out about recent events.
If, indeed, the Retreat is facing an impending fall from a financial cliff, then one must understand the level of mismanagement that has led to hundreds of thousands of dollars being squandered. Yes, the State of Vermont is financing the renovation of the 14-bed unit to house the former VSH patients. What has been squandered by Mr. Simpson is the repeated renovations of other in-patient units. The children’s unit has been completely renovated twice. This expensive outlay of funds came as a direct result of poor planning. The patient area was designed without input from the direct care staff who keep these young patients safe. As a consequence, the unit as designed, was unsafe and unsuitable for patient care. Thus, a whole new renovation needed to be done and we are told that the very same unit is slated for yet another renovation.
This is just one concrete example of poor management of funds. There are others such as the repeated renovation of the cafeteria.
So, if there is, indeed, a looming financial cliff, who caused it and who has paid for it? It is abundantly clear that the direct care staff did not spend that money. It is sadly apparent that several of them will pay for it with the loss of their jobs. It is sadly apparent that our patients will pay for it with a decrease in valuable programming.
While Rob Simpson has made it clear to us, his employees, that he neither cares about nor respects what we have to say, I ask that those with influence; donors, community leaders and the Board members; start demanding some answers.
There is one other explanation. There is no looming financial crisis, this is plain and simple union busting.
SUE EUPHRAT, R.N.