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Staff: Patients need to be moved from Haven Place

LOCK HAVEN — No heat, no hot water, no showers, food preparation in the activity room.

These are among the complaints being lodged by several employees of UPMC’s Haven Place, which is located directly behind the fire-damaged UPMC Lock Haven Hospital.

The hospital has been closed since Thursday night, when fire broke out in the boiler room, sending toxic smoke into the hospital on Cree Drive.

Hospital patients have been transferred; Haven Place residents remain.

UMPC officials said they’re working feverishly to get the hospital building fit for staff and patients.

With the hospital closed, without power and water, Haven Place suffered the same loss.

And although some things have been restored, employees say conditions at Haven Place remain “unacceptable” and patients should be evacuated until all repairs and clean up is done.

Several employees spoke to The Express on Tuesday and asked to remain anonymous.

They expressed concern about the conditions at the facility, which houses about 80 patients, most of them elderly. Haven Place works to “meet the needs of residents who no longer require hospital care, but need 24-hour assistance.

The second floor is a lock-down unit for dementia patients.

“It’s horrible. These people are not being taken care of the way they should be. They need to be evacuated and moved to another place,” one staff member said, frustration in her voice as she complained that “staff doesn’t have what we need” to properly care for these patients.

“They haven’t had showers since last Thursday. Immediately after the fire, there was no power and no water at all to The Haven. Now, there is cold water, but it’s dirty and it stinks,” she reported.

“You can’t drink it. You can’t use the ice. We’re giving patients bottled water,” she said. “But you can’t give them a shower in cold water.”

As far as meals go, another employee said meal preparation is being done in the activity room and food is being stored in a cooler truck outside the facility.

That’s because the kitchen is located in the hospital, which remains closed, she said.

And there’s no heat, the employee said.

“It’s been cold the last few nights and it’s cold in there,” the employee added.

“They told staff not to use air-conditioning or heat. The rooms are cold. Older folks like this are cold to begin with.

“I just don’t understand why they don’t move them out of there until repairs are made. It’s just not right,” the staff member said.

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