Photo: The framed dedications that were on the computer station desktops for Walter Gelien, Coy Jackson and Mike Maloy are now in safe keeping with me. I look forward to the day I return them to the rebuilt stations that honor them as living memorials at the Martinez VA Hospital.
Photos: ASHF Volunteer, Gavin Carr assists a Vet with a computer question in November 2019.
That station being removed April 6, 2020
Whether we can later resume our successful computer station outreach is very uncertain. How the hospital has to react to these epidemics and its design limitations could mean the end.
For now, the equipment and handicap accessible tables wait in an unused laboratory turned storeroom. Later this week, I will learn if our library, started in late 2012, will suffer the same fate.
Hopefully, Just An Interruption
And Not The End
April 7, 2020 Facebook Posting by:
Mark G. Maloy, President of ASHF
Photo: ASHF President, Mark Maloy with Doctor of Internal Medicine, Gerhard Heinrich, MD. We are finding an area to store the 3 PC's, monitors and peripherals from the dismantled stations in a former lab turned storage room.
I spent Monday hurriedly taking our stations down. I have endured some very sad days involving our outreach efforts and Monday was one of them. Our stations are lifelines for these patients. Especially after the crisis locked down the hospital a few weeks back and the patients are not allowed visitors. Many of the patients do not have smartphones or laptops and our stations were vital to them.
Conversations with Vet patients coming to use the stations being removed were very emotional. I had no answers, but promised ASHF would try to find some way in the future to help the Vets have a means to stay in touch. Our Wifi signal throughout the hospital will continue.
On Sunday night April 5th, I was given 12 hours notice to dismantle the A Square Heroes Foundation Martinez VA Hospital computer stations. Our 3 stations have been in constant use 24/7 for over 7 years by the Vet patients in difficult and lengthy recoveries. The computer station program is sponsored through donations and maintained by ASHF volunteers. When our program began, the hospital was treating service personnel that included those severly wounded during the 2009 - 2012 “Surge” of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. Now the hospital is coping with a different surge.
Vets being treated for Covid-19 must be quarantined in their rooms and require their own bathrooms. The hospital was not designed for quarantining en masse. So, areas used for dining, recreation, religious services, family visiting, and other social purposes are being transformed into extra bed space to accommodate Vet patients not being quarantined. Expecting an influx of Covid-19 patients, the hospital must make its changes fast.