You are on page 1of 2
COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ‘THE JOHN A. WILSON BUILDING 23350 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20004 David Grosso Committee Member Councilmember At-Large Government Operations Chairperson, Committee on Education ese Human Services Labor and Workforce Development October 23, 2019 Dr. Barbara Bazron, Director Department of Behavioral Health 64 New York Ave., N.E., 3 Floor Washington, D.C. 20002 Dr. Bazron, Ihave been deeply concerned since first learning of the legionella bacteria contamination at St. Elizabeths hospital last month and the accompanying water emergency plan. The patients at the hospital deserve our careful care and attention; they should receive no less than what would be afforded to patients at any other medical institution in town. To check that all proper steps are being taken to ensure the patients’ and employees’ needs are being met at the hospital, | instructed my staff to communicate with your team, advocacy groups, and community members, including visiting the hospital last week. | appreciate the information you have shared and the efforts you have undertaken to this point. While | am frustrated that the water emergency plan and communication about it could have been better implemented, | was willing to wait to examine the issue further after the immediate emergency was abated, Now that the initial treatment effort failed to resolve the problem, however, | believe that more urgent action is needed. By COB on Friday, October 2sth, | would like detailed answers for the following questions: 2. What is the assessment as to the source of the water contamination and why the initial chlorine treatment was ineffective at abating the problem? 2. Last week, we expected the problem to be solved by now. What is the department's plan if the current treatment is also ineffective? 3. Since we now cannot reliably predict when the water will be available again, is the Department of Behavioral Health considering moving some or all of the patients to another location? a. Ifthe department has not yet considered moving patients, is there a point at which the department will do so? b. Has the department begun to draft contingency plans for moving patients and how to complete it? If not, why not? If so, where to? 4. Has the department communicated to the D.C. Superior Court the need to stop admitting new patients to St. Elizabeths? a. Ifso, what is the status of that plan? b. fot, why not? 5. How is the department communicating with staff, patients, and patients’ families and advocates about the situation? Sincerely, David Grosso (I-At-Large) Council of the District of Columbia Chairperson, Committee on Education Ce: Vincent C. Gray, Chairperson, Committee on Health Councilmember (Ward 7)