Tammy Long is the assigned Human Rights Advocate for Piedmont Geriatric Hospital. The Human Rights Advocate monitors an advocacy system at Piedmont Geriatric Hospital to promote compliance with individual rights. The advocate is available to help patients make a complaint about a possible violation of their rights and will represent the patient upon request or consult with any other representative the individual chooses.
The advocate assigned to Piedmont Geriatric Hospital is independent of the hospital director and reports directly to the Office of Human Rights of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Services. The advocate can initiate a complaint on a patient's behalf. The advocate will also receive complaints directly from patients and others at anytime. If the patient or legally authorized representative is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, a petition for a hearing may be submitted to Piedmont Geriatric Hospital Human Rights Committee.
Human Rights Advocate
P. O. Box 427
Burkeville, VA 23922
Complaints may also be referred to the Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy.
Human Rights Complaints
Piedmont Geriatric Hospital has an informal complaint process to respond to possible violations of individual rights regarding their services. Patients can make a complaint to any employee of the facility. Family members, volunteers, consultants, or employees can make a complaint on behalf of a patient. Once a complaint is received an event report will be completed and designated hospital staff will attempt to resolve the complaint within five (5) days. If the complaint is not resolved, then the director refers the complaint to the human rights advocate.
Local Human Rights Committee
The Piedmont Geriatric Hospital Local Human rights Committee consists of community volunteers that broadly represent various professionals and consumer groups with an interest in mental health, mental retardation or substance abuse issues.
The Local Human Rights committee reviews policies, procedures, or practices that involve the rights of patients and receives complaints of alleged rights violations by or for individuals receiving services. the State Human Rights Committee appoints members to the Local Human Rights Committee and hears appeals of unresolved human rights complaints.
The Local Human Rights Committee encourages interested professionals and consumers to apply for membership. The Local Human Rights Committee meets quarterly at PGH and the meeting schedule may be obtained by contacting Tammy Long at (434) 767 - 3532. Confidentiality of information regarding individuals receiving services must be observed at all times.
Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect
Any person who has any knowledge or reason to believe that a patient may have been abused or neglected must immediately report this information directly to the Facility Director, or his designee (434) - 767-4401. Reason to believe abuse or neglect may have occurred can be based on direct observation, a report made by a patient or staff member, behavioral/physical indicators of abuse or neglect, or by any other means. An allegation of possible patient abuse is so serious that any information regarding it must be given directly to the director of Piedmont Geriatric Hospital so that immediate action can be taken to protect patients. The person reporting the allegation should describe the incident as fully as possible, giving the names of any persons involved, the time, date and location of the incident, and the names of any witnesses.
What is Abuse or Neglect?
"Abuse" means any act or failure to act by an employee or other person responsible for the care of an individual that was performed or was failed to be performed knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally, and that caused or might have caused physical or psychological harm, injury, or death to an individual receiving services. Examples of abuse include but are not limited to the following:
1.Rape, sexual assault, or other criminal sexual behavior;
2.Assault or battery;
3.Use of language that demeans, threatens, intimidates or humiliates the person;
4.Misuse or misappropriation of the person's assets, goods or property;
5.Use of excessive force when placing a person in physical or mechanical restraint;
6.Use on a person of physical or mechanical restraints that is not in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and policies, professionally accepted standards of practice or the person's individualized services plan; and
7.Use of more restrictive or intensive services or denial of services to punish the person or that is not consistent with his individualized services plan. See § 37.1-1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Neglect" means the failure by an individual, program or facility responsible for providing services to provide nourishment, treatment, care, goods, or services necessary to the health, safety or welfare of a person receiving care or treatment for mental illness, mental retardation or substance abuse. See § 37.1-1 of the Code of Virginia