After reading Ald. Smith’s post and the community’s comments on Action Uptown I have several thoughts I wanted to share. If the only information I had to base my opinions on were taken from articles in the Tribune, the survey findings and information on sites such as Action Uptown, I would probably be equally as outraged. I would easily imagine that the halls of Somerset were filled with crazy residents and staff both just so out of control.
However, I can say that over the last twelve months IDPH surveyors have been in the building for various reasons, surveys, complaints visits etc. and I can tell you that the state surveyors I spoke to made numerous comments to me about the positive environment and progress Somerset Place had made. These comments were not elicited by me the state surveyors made it a point to tell me this. It is my opinion that the politicians and the directors of various state agencies never had any intention of allowing Somerset Place to continue to operate. One could ask why it took so long; this process was started well over 16 months ago. I believe that CMS, IDPH, and other agencies were fully aware that Somerset Place was in fact in compliance. How could they decertify a building if it was in compliance? Well, if the agenda of CMS, IDPH and others was to decertify Somerset Place don’t you think they could find a way to do just that? Let them go into any facility, agency (pick the entity) and if they want to find something wrong they in fact can and will. The regulations require that facilities be in “substantial compliance”. What does that exactly mean? I haven’t been able to find the definition of that anywhere.
I am not suggesting that there have not been problems or challenges and many remain, what I am saying is that what happened at Somerset Place was unfair and the real losers in all of this are the residents of Somerset. Let me close with a resident comment, made to me just yesterday. “I want to stay at Somerset. Can I please stay! I’m not violent or anything like. “