Wednesday, December 28th 2011
We Meet Kate Brookhouser, WakeMed's 5A Social/Case Worker
December 28th 2011

Kate Brookhouser is the WakeMed 5A Social/Case worker that was assigned to Freddie’s case when we moved to 5A.  She wasn’t part of any of the meetings or conversations that I had been a part of coming into 5A.  However, I had heard of her from another patient’s family who had.  I can’t really quote exactly what he had said to me, but trust me; it wasn’t flattering by any means.  “That Kate is a *****.  She just wants to get us out.”  She doesn’t care anything about what we need or where would be the best place for us to go.   She just wants to get us out.”  As tears ran down this man's face.

Now, I didn’t really know this man, but I can tell good people when I meet them, and after some time has gone by; I have since learned a lot more about what he and his family has gone through at WakeMed and how they have been treated by them.  It is not pretty at all!  My heart goes out to you guys.  So, still at that time I hadn’t had my turn with Kate yet but I had my experience with Wanita in the beginning when were in neuro.  The WakeMed social worker that suggested; “Make Freddie a Ward of the State or Take him Home.”  And the last thing that I wanted was negativity to creep back into Freddie’s care, in this  unit, that we had experienced in the past where WakeMed didn’t want to treat but just get Freddie out, which was supposed to be a thing of the past now.

In December while I was in with Freddie, Kate sticks her head in and says;  “Hello, I am Kate Brookhouser and I am Freddie’s case worker.  I’m sorry I haven’t had  time to meet with you to go over Freddie’s case but I been busy with some other things and the holidays and I will be getting with you.” (I found out much later, her mother had been very ill and I understand she didn’t do too well with that.)

So one day when I was going down the hall, I ran into Kate and she stopped me and said;  “Hello Mr. Lempe, we need to get together to get Freddie’s discharge plans.”  I said; we are working on getting Freddie off the vent right now and he is doing really well.  She replied with; “oh, well we still need to work on planning for his discharge.  We need to find him a place to go.”  I asked her if she could help with Freddie’s PT because he really needs it and he is not getting it.  I said that we are trying to get the hospital to provide him with the PT he needs and having difficulties and that the 5A manager, Pauline Stillman was working on trying to get him some help.  Maybe you could get with her  and be able to help too.  She said; “Ah, alright, I’ll see what I can do.  But we still  need to figure out where he is going to go.”

So here we are again with a hospital employed social worker who could care less about what a patient needs medically but just wants to get that patient out.  A “social worker” who is right on the front lines, hands on of the patient’s healthcare and for some reason chooses to not to be concerned with what the patient needs medically.

I've had several people tell me; that's just the way the hospitals do it.  It is policy to be trying to discharge from the moment a patient is admitted.  These statements don't excuse or make what WakeMed has done acceptable in Freddie's case.  OK, I understand that there may be a need to focus attention on staying on top of a patients care and condition to not let patients fall behind, who are and should be ready to leave, if they are ready.  I understand that it is a good policy to make sure that resources are freed up on a timely manner if they are being slack on processing them correctly.  However, there is a difference between the "run of the mill" cases and one's like Freddie's.  Where he has required way more from the severity of his injuries, have had extreme difficulties due to the reluctances to treat and the severe complications from trying to treat in a way to enable a quick discharge.
We Meet Kate Bookhouser, WakeMed 5A Social/Case Worker
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