2000-11-25 / Letters

Lew Fights Back

Dear Editor;

I was appalled to read in the Bag of Mail a letter written throwing charges of conflict of interest against me.

In 1986, the City of New York tried to put AIDS patients into the Neponsit home. Being outspoken and vocal, I was one of many who spoke against this proposal

In 1987, the then Executive Director Moshe Bain, of Neponsit Health Care Center, asked for support in establishing an Alzheimer’s wing for Alzheimer’s patients. We went on record supporting Alzheimer’s beds.

We have spent many years attending various functions with the patients and staff at Neponsit. I worked with the Neponsit staff during the directorship of Moshe Bain, Steve Kaban and Jay Rugoff. I saw first hand the love that the staff showed towards the patients and the patients reciprocating toward the staff. I also visited with the patients in the day care program. When the city illegally closed Neponsit Health Care Center I was outraged. This was the one facility that was self contained and worked well. There were no patients panhandling or wandering out to harass neighbors or the community. This facility employed over 350 local community people. Many of them had to leave their jobs when the facility was closed and they were transferred to other HHC.

The patients were moved like cattle in the wee hours of the morning. They were told nothing but "hurry, hurry, hurry." To quote one of my Orthodox neighbors who was in the concentration camps, "They knocked at her door in the wee hours and herded them away in cattle cars." Are you outraged yet?

Name withheld claimed I got involved because of the two Marys. Mary, the executive vice president, had seniority in her position and at no time coaxed me to get involved. Mary number two is one of my best petition carriers and is a pillar of this community. Until recently, I was not even aware that her son-in-law worked for Neponsit. We will continue to fight to bring back all the surviving patients and the staff.

We were among those who fought to get rid of the former Shalom, Queen Esther and Seville. They were factories where they mistreated mental patients by heavily medicating them and letting them walk outside to panhandle. These homes were closed because of the mistreatment of these mental patients.

Shame, shame on you name withheld. Next time sign your name.


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