Glens Falls VA must be more responsive
I wish to relate to you my experience with the Glens Falls Veterans Administration clinic.
I had to get an appointment for a blood test. I called the clinic on June 18. My call was answered by a telephone answering machine. The message the machine gave me was: "The people are either away from their desk or helping other patients." The message further went on, I was to leave the last four numbers of my Social Security number, my name and a telephone number where I can be reached. All [of] this I complied with. I hung up and waited for someone to return my call. No one ever did.
The following day, June 19, I started calling the clinic at 8 a.m. My efforts once again got me the answering machine. I called six times throughout the day. One of my calls was answered by a human voice. The conversation lasted 30 seconds, than the line went silent. I hung up my phone and dialed the clinic once more. The result -- the answering machine. All my calls that day to get an appointment for a blood test got me the answering machine.
I finally drove the 25 miles to the clinic. When I arrived at the clinic (3:45 p.m.), the waiting room had one person in it, sitting on a chair against the wall. There were no patients at the clerk's window. I took out my cellphone and dialed the clinic. The receiver was picked up by the answering machine. "We are either away from our desk or with other patients, etc." I looked at the clerks -- all were at their desks and no patients were around except myself.
I went over to the clerk and asked if any of my previous phone messages had gotten through. The clerk responded she had no record of any of my phone messages. I made my appointment for the lab.
I asked the clerk if I could speak to a supervisor. A woman came to the desk and introduced herself as the supervisor of that department. I explained to her my experiences I had at that clinic. She told me I was a traveler from Florida (I split my time between here and there) and the clinic wouldn't treat me. I explained to her I was within my rights to request a blood draw. I also wanted to know why I couldn't call this clinic and speak to a human being. She told me this is a busy clinic and they don't have time to answer the telephone. I replied I called at 3:45 p.m. while standing in the clinic waiting room with no patients around and I got the answering machine. Why?
I received no answer from her to my question. So I left and wrote this letter.
I am a 77-year-old with an artificial aortic valve. I must go and receive a monthly blood test to see if there should be any adjustments to my prescription. Why must it be necessary for a patient to call that clinic for two days and then travel 50 miles just to get an appointment? The situation I described in this letter can be dangerous for patients.
I am writing this letter to ask if my concerns are justified.
Simple precautions to curb bike injuries
I have read several recent reports of bicycle riders involved in accidents and suffering head injuries -- one person died. The reports didn't say whether each of the riders was wearing a helmet.
This letter is a reminder that all riders -- regardless of age -- should always wear a helmet to prevent head injuries should they fall and land on their head. A head injury, due to not wearing a helmet, could result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and cause permanent brain damage.
I know from personal experience that an accident can happen suddenly, even if you are being careful. Thanks to wearing a helmet, I did not suffer any head injury. Riders should also have reflectors on their bikes, wear reflective clothing at night and have a mirror to be able to see cars behind them. Always ride on the right side of the road, with the traffic.
Hand signals should always be used to indicate turning intentions -- straight up for right turn, straight out for left turn and straight down for stopping.
Parking, graffiti are problematic on Erie
The recent renovation of Erie Boulevard needs to be examined as a failure in some regards. As a patron to the local businesses on Erie Boulevard, I have to ask what happened to the parking? Instead of encouraging local businesses, it seems to be very discouraging. Case in point: Lyle's Subs. Just four parking spots for three businesses in front. Wolfe Lock has none in front of its business.
One has to ask what was the designer of this development thinking? Plus, once you leave these businesses and head toward State Street, now you can't make a left turn. You need to go all the way up by the Burger King to make a left turn. So all these improvements might look good, but the functionality is very poor.
On a different subject, why does it take the proposal of a casino for all the graffiti to be removed along Erie Boulevard? This should have been done years ago, and not just because you want a casino here. In Schenectady, I say, why stop there?
How long do the people of Schenectady have to wait to see the rest of the graffiti removed in other parts of the city? One place that comes to mind is all along the college and on the I-890 overpasses.
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