NYS Department of Health
September 11, 2012
Bureau of Personnel Management
Room 2217 – Corning Tower, ESP
Albany, NY 12237
Attn: Ken Powis
Dear Mr. Powis;
I was interviewed in Buffalo, NY for the position of full time Health Care Surveyor 2 (grade 19) position for Nursing homes and ICF Surveillance Program by 3 female interviewers on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 11 AM. At this interview I was only told that the position of Health Care Surveyor 2 for LTC and Acute Care were 2 different positions and 2 different departments by the women interviewing me.
The first time I heard back from this region was Thursday, August 30th from Administrative Assistant Judy Ranic, who called me to ask if I wanted to stay on the list being considered for Hospital Surveyor as well as Long Term Care Surveyor because I was “holding up the entire interview process, and they could not move on” because I did not interview for Acute Care surveyor. I said I did not know that I was “supposed to” interview for this as it appeared to me to be a different position and I was interested in LTC Surveyor, because this was the background in nursing from which I came. Ms. Ranic stated she would place me on the “TI list” when I told her that I had interviewed for LTC because an acute care surveyor was a different interview in a different department and that I had no recent background in this area of nursing. Per Ms. Ranic, I would be placed back on the “active list” automatically “in 2 weeks”.
When I asked Ms. Ranic to explain what the “TI list” was, she seemed nervous at my question and insisted I speak with Toby Mansfield, who, after I explained my background, stated, “If you are going to decline then…” I stated I was not declining the position of Health Care Surveyor 2 and that if I understood things correctly, I would be put on the “TI list” for a 2 week period which removed me from the list of potential candidates being interviewed for the survey team for acute care facilities, and I would be placed back on the “active” list after a 2 week period, during which time interviews were to be conducted for acute care surveyor candidates.
Toby Mansfield then asked me if I needed to speak with Ms. Ranic again; I declined, stating I thought we both understood one another. However, upon reflection I again called back after a few moments, and left a message for her that I would go on the “TI list” temporarily as was explained to me by her.
Late Friday afternoon on September 7, there was a message for me to call Toby Mansfield. I returned the call yesterday morning, September 10, 2012. Mr. Mansfield stated to me that per the conversation he had with Ms. Ranic on or about August 30, 2012, that I was declining all Health Care 2 Surveyor positions and he was verifying that I was no longer interested in the position of Health Care Surveyor 2. I stated that I was still interested, but that no one had clarified for me why I must be put on a temporarily unavailable list so that these other people may be interviewed, and why has no one explained to me that apparently Heath Care Surveyor 2 must interview for BOTH acute care facilities as well as Long Term Care facilities, as I currently understand this via my conversation with Mr. Mansfield. Mr. Mansfield said at one point that one may interview for one position or the other or both. I asked him to please clarify this for me, stating that this explanation is confusing because he could not give me straight answers to my questions about the Buffalo region’s purpose for my interview in regard to Health Care Surveyor 2, as these follow-up phone calls have alerted me that there is some agenda that is not at present clear to me. When I told him I was unaware that in order to be considered for Health Care Surveyor 2, apparently it is contingent upon being interviewed as well for Acute Care Surveyor all he could state to me was that “Our system is complicated; yes you can interview for one position, but it’s hard to explain...”
I again told him I did not see this stated in any paperwork I had filled out for this position, nor did I see this stated on the New York State DHS website, to which his reply was, “I suppose it is buried in there somewhere…”
Mr. Mansfield went on to inform me that the purpose of his call was to inform me that since I was stating to him I was not declining interest in the position of Health Care 2 Surveyor that I had been originally been placed on the “TI list until October 4, 2012 (I was never given a date, only told “2 weeks” on August 30, 2012), which had now been moved back to “around the middle of October” per Mr. Mansfield.
My questions to you at this time are: Why did Toby Mansfield state to me that the reason for his call was to inform me that the date for me being placed on this “TI list” was moved back to mid-October, when the first thing he said to me yesterday, September 10, 2012 was that he understood I was declining all Health Care Surveyor 2 positions per his conversation with Judy Ranic?
Since I only interviewed for Health Care Surveyor 2 for LTCs, and my understanding was that the surveyors who survey LTCs are not the same team who survey acute care facilities, have I been eliminated as a potential hiring prospect for Health Care Surveyor 2?
Why wasn’t this possibility explained to me during the interview if this is so? I was asked if I was to be interviewed for acute care facilities, and I replied no; nothing more was said to me.
Were these interviewers aware of information that I had not been made aware of, and which disqualifies me from prospective employment?
Why didn’t the interviewers ask me anything about my background as supplied in my application/resume? It appeared to me that no one had read any of the background information supplied well ahead of the specified date of this interview and at the request of the State of New York DHS Buffalo Region.
As a former director of nurses at an LTC, I also interviewed people for nursing positions and understood the importance of clear and concise explanations of the hiring process, as well as the fact that interviewees were assessing me and my facility as potential employers.
My sense is that steps have been and are being undertaken to circumvent any consideration toward hiring me, and I wonder what the reasons could be.
Mr. Powis, I am asking for your assistance in this apparent “double-speak” that I am receiving from the director of personnel in the Buffalo DHS that neither I nor my counsel seem to be able to decipher.
Jennifer Ann Kealey
Cc: Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Deputy Commissioner