Daily Archives: June 1, 2015

Shumlin’s mental health care system still kind of a mess

Very interesting article by VTDigger’s Morgan True, which will get buried under today’s good news about Vermont Health Connect. The story details a plan to build a 16-bed secure inpatient facility for the severely mentally ill.

This specific plan comes from Northeast Kingdom Human Services, which proposes the hospital as part of a multipurpose “social service campus” in the distant hamlet of Bloomfield, pop. 262. How distant? It’s more than an hour northeast of Saint Johnsbury.

That seems like a bad idea for a number of reasons. It’s awfully far away from any sizeable hospital; proximity to a full-scale medical center is considered prudent for a secure inpatient facility. It’s a hell of a drive for the vast majority of those wanting to visit a patient. And there’s the problem of attracting qualified staff to such a remote locale.

This may be nothing more than a fever dream by NKHS; the state is nosing around for a new facility but has made no commitments to the Kingdom. But it does point out something I hadn’t realized: the administration is again looking to expand the system because it is still overstressed.

It’s almost a year since the new hospital in Berlin opened its doors, and there are still severely mentally ill patients waiting in emergency rooms for days at a time because there aren’t enough secure beds. And the state faces a looming, if somewhat unofficial, deadline to close a “temporary” seven-bed facility in Middlesex by 2018. Continue reading


Lookin’ for love in at least one wrong place

Update: Looks like he’s done a bit of spring cleaning. “Simple Pickup” has been removed from Fiske’s Facebook page. Let it never be said that theVPO doesn’t have influence!

Update II: Rep. Fiske has responded in the Comments. I’ve attached his response to the end of this post.

Just like all hip and with-it 21st Century Vermonters, State Rep. Larry Fiske has a Facebook page. The Franklin County Republican has posted 22 “Likes” on his page. Most of them are just what you’d expect from a Republican, if you’ll excuse the stereotype: sports teams, fellow Republicans, local businesses. Ethan Allen Institute, natch. Former local news anchor Bridget Shanahan.

And whoa, what’s this?

“Simple Pickup.”

That’s odd. Let’s see what we’ve got here.

Simple Pickup proclaims itself “the foremost company in the world teaching on dating and relationships.”

Our mission is to ensure that all people — men and women — achieve their romantic goals.

“Men and women.” How equitable. Unfortunately, their method for ensuring that “all peopleā€¦ achieve their romantic goals” is to teach young men how to be pickup artists.

Continue reading