Special Hearing to Probe D.C. Healthcare Contractor Found to Have Misused Millions in District Funds
Monday, October 17, 2011 at 02:00PM
[Your Name Here]

 CONTACT: Maureen Higgins, Cell 443-631-5090, maureen.higgins@1199.org

WHAT: Special Hearing & Press Conference on D.C. Contractor VMT
Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Mon., Oct. 17, Hearing starts at 2 pm, Press conference, 3:30 pm


WASHINGTON – A small D.C. healthcare contractor that paid its CEO $1.8 million in one year will be the subject of a special city council hearing today at 2 p.m. A press conference about problems with the contractor, VMT Long Term Care Management, will follow at 3:30 p.m.

An explosive new report from the D.C. Inspector General finds that VMT — which runs a D.C.-owned nursing home and relies heavily on city funding — was responsible for the city losing $2.7 million and calls on the District government to recoup the money.

It was in 2008 that VMT paid CEO Solanges Vivens $1.8 million. That year, the small contractor’s total revenues — not profit, but revenues — were just $8.1 million. And from 2004 to 2008, VMT paid Vivens, who is the company’s sole shareholder, a total of $3.5 million.

The D.C. Committee on Aging and Community Affairs, chaired by Council Member Marion Barry, is holding the special hearing on VMT and will take testimony from caregivers at Unique Residential Care Center, the D.C.-owned nursing home run by the troubled contractor.

The workers at Unique, formerly known as J.B. Johnson Nursing Center, voted 165-0 to form a union in February 2010 to address the problems at the home, but VMT has refused to settle a fair contract with them. The D.C. Inspector General found that VMT has wrongly spent $181,000 of D.C. funds on attorneys to combat the organizing efforts of workers at Unique/J.B. Johnson and also at the Washington Center for Aging Services, another D.C.-owned nursing home that VMT managed until losing that contract last year.

The committee is also slated to take testimony about VMT from Mrs. Audrey Johnson, the widow of Dr. J.B. Johnson, namesake of the District’s nursing center. VMT suddenly erased Dr. Johnson’s name from the facility earlier this year as J.B. Johnson workers ramped up their campaign for improvements at the home. Mrs. Johnson is seeking to restore the name of her husband, a pioneering black cardiologist, and ensure that his legacy of public service is honored at J.B. Johnson.

The Maryland/DC Division of 1199SEIU includes more than 10,000 caregivers working in the hospitals, nursing homes and clinics of Washington, D.C. and Maryland. We’re a division of 1199SEIU–United Healthcare Workers East, the dynamic union of more than 300,000 caregivers along the East Coast. 1199SEIU is part of the Service Employees International Union, America’s largest healthcare union representing more than 1.1 million caregivers.

Article originally appeared on VMT Watch (http://vmtwatch.org/).
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