This is an update from something we wrote about many years ago. There are certain things that iePolitics has been instrumental in making happen. One of them was the departure of Paula Martin from ARMC.
My last job with the county was working in the BHU at ARMC. I worked a swing shift and witnessed many things. Mark Uffer was still County Administrative Officer at the time and he and I had a lot of long conversations about the county and ARMC. One of the subject matters was Paula Martin, who was in charge of the BHU.
Some of what happened up there was like it was out of a horror movie. I remember one patient who was kept in restraints for four months. His family visited him several days in a row, and during that time, he had never been given an opportunity to bathe or a change of clothes. They knew he had not changed his clothes from the blood stains all over them. I believe they filed a complaint with whatever federal agency oversees such things and ARMC got into a lot of trouble for that with threats of being shut down.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that a patient can only be left in restraints for four hours at a time and a doctor has to sign off every four hours. It’s been enough time since this all happened that I don’t remember the rules. I do remember, however, that two doctors were overheard talking about how they could be fired and their licenses revoked if anyone found out about what was happening in this case. It was a Paula Martin special because she said staff was too afraid to deal with the patient and demanded he be kept in restraints.
Another thing that happened more often than not was that 5150 commitments were kept long past 72 hours without a hearing or court order. The county determined they could keep them incarcerated based on admittance time, which was often several days after they were actually brought in. In other words they would forcefully hold them in triage and the 72 hours would not run. Then, after they got away with that as long as they could, they would “admit” them, and then and only then would the 72 hours start to run. It was not about whether they were a danger to themselves or others; it was all about collecting as much insurance money as they could. If the patients were indigent and without insurance or Medi-Cal, they were cut loose as quickly as possible.
Needless to say, I have little respect for the way ARMC was run at the time. There were, and I’m sure still are, many awesome nurses, doctors and other health care professionals there. But Administration was a totally different story.
Anyway, after we successfully helped Paula Martin leave ARMC, I was contacted by an employee unfortunate enough to work where she found employment. We corresponded for a long time but I lost track of him several years ago. Today, I received this email from him:
I don’t know if you are still following this person but she has just been fired from UCI Medical Center. Everything you wrote in the IE blog came true; she’s a real monster. The psych department is a wreck and there are lots of law suits against her and the hospital. I suspect she will not be unemployed very long since hatched work seems to be in high demand.
Let me know if there is more information coming out of San berdo.
So it does go to show you that evil eventually gets caught.