Is Political Season Causing Unnecessary Ills?

As Oneida Eye reported, Oneida Advocate Mike Debraska attended the March 12, 2014 Business Committee Regular Meeting, made candid comments and asked direct questions regarding several problems noted in a public report about the Anna John Resident Centered Care Community. Human Resources Director Geraldine Danforth went a little nuts over any discussion of a report linked to directly in an article by U.S. News & World Report that so many have touted as proof of AJRCCC’s good standing:

Mike also raised concerns about the BC forwarding BC Chair Ed Delgado’s proposed $75,000 per year National Violence Prevention Resource Center non-emergency consultancy contract to the the Quality of Life Committee for consideration. Mike raised the issue due to the lack of reports or other information coming out of the Quality of Life Committee which is chaired by BC member Paul Ninham.

Subsequently, Paul Ninham lost his temper and questioned Mike Debraska’s bona fides and activism:

As Oneida Eye observed when we first posted the video:

The answer to Paul Ninham’s rude and uninformed question about what Mike Debraska was doing in 1992 is that Mike was diligently working to actually improve the quality of the lives of Oneida Tribe members as a major force in getting the Southeast Oneida Tribal Services (SEOTS) program off the ground.

Unfortunately, due to lax attitudes by the SEOTS Director Mark W. Powless and the SEOTS Board, along with apathy about oversight by Governmental Services Division Director Don White, SEOTS is failing to meet its most basic objectives while blame is shifted back and forth as seen in the following excerpt from the March 12, 2014 BC Meeting:

Mike Debraska delivered in person a letter to the Kalihwisaks’ offices on March 20, 2014 as shown by the date-stamped copy below, but the letter did not appear in the April 3, 2014 edition:

Mike’s letter states:

Is GTC Safe at BC Meetings?

I attended the Wednesday, March 12th BC meeting at Norbert Hill. What I witnessed and endured during the afternoon session was nothing short of despicable. I asked relevant questions and made comments about agneda items and was suddenly and deliberately verbally attacked by Paul Ninham. He began cursing and challenged me to follow him outside. Why? So he could try to beat me up? Greg Matson even got out of his chair and began making grunting sounds in a loud, rude way. It almost appeared as though maybe he wanted to go to his office and get his baseball bat. Both Paul and Greg walked out of the room but returned about five minutes later. There were other GTC members in attendance who can verify these factual statements or you can simply request a copy of the video from the Secretary’s office and watch for yourself, provided the tape has not been tampered with or erased.

The saddest part? The lack of ethics of ‘so called’ leaders who act like hoodlums. Should they be allowed to run again or hold any office? When you judge during the upcoming election, ask yourself – are you safe if you ask questions of the current elected officials, or will they personally attack and threaten you? Are we safe from their anger and rage which can take a threatening turn when valid questions and comments are presented? Why do straightforward questions make some BC members so angry?

Now Oneida Eye has learned that one of SEOTS main services, delivering prescription medications from the Oneida Health Center to SEOTS, is hampered this week due to what is described as a shortage of staff in the Oneida Health Center Pharmacy resulting in Oneidas in Milwaukee having to wait until next week to receive their medications.

When SEOTS Director Mark W. Powless was asked about what happened, he stated via email:

SEOTS sends a list of clients and their medications to the Pharmacy each week on Wednesday. The community has been notified through office contact/documentation, direct mail, and Kali notice of our deadline. To accommodate clients who forget to call or receive new scripts after the deadline, SEOTS normally sends a late list on Friday. We pick up the medication in Oneida each Monday afternoon.

On Monday, April 7 we were notified at 7:53am that the late list would not be completed and those clients would be added to next week’s pick-up.

However, Mike Debraska had called the Oneida Pharmacy on Friday March 28, 2014 and asked them to fill his prescription so he could pick it up in person between Monday March 31 and Friday April 4. When Mike realized on April 4 that he wouldn’t be able to go in person he called SEOTS and asked them to pick up his prescriptions which had already been filled and he also called and notified the Pharmacy that SEOTS would be doing so. Nevertheless, Mike’s prescriptions were filled but not delivered.

This problem appears to fall squarely in the laps of Comprehensive Health Division Director Debbie Danforth, who is in charge of AJRCCC and the Oneida Health Center, and Human Resources Director Geraldine Danforth, as well as their direct supervisor BC Chair Ed Delgado. BC member Melinda Danforth is the BC Liaison to the Health Center.

Something to consider: It’s political season. Is this an attempt to deprive a transplant patient medication because of his activism on behalf of Oneida elders, GTC and SEOTS? Or is it just the result of poor management on several levels which the next BC needs to seriously address?

Oneida Eye is pleased to learn that Mike Debraska is considering residing in Oneida and running for the Business Committee where he can continue and expand his advocacy on behalf of Oneida elders, GTC and SEOTS.

REMINDER: Tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Norbert Hill Center and teleconferenced at SEOTS will be the last FY2015 Budget Input Discussion, and the areas of discussion will be HRD, Governmental Service, and Trust/Enrollment Departments/Committee.


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