According to reocrds of the city medical examiner's officer, since 1976 23 people have died from exposure in the city, Department of Human Resources director Albert P. Russo announced recently at a weekly press conference. Eleven of the victims were homeless, but 12 had homes they were unable to reach because of drunkeness, senility or lapse of memory.
Whiel alcohol contributed to the deaths of nine of the 12 victims with homes, the report said alcohol contributed to only four of the other 11 deaths. Although all 11 of the homeless victims had histories of alcohoism, most of them died because of a lack of secure shelter, the report said. Many of these victims had lived in abandoned autos and buildings, or on steam grates.
Russo said that in spite of available city services to alcoholics, " in terms of, (alcohol) prevention and outreach services, we're not even scratching the surface." He said sufficient funds are not available.
Russo also announced that within the next three years, a management program administered by the American University School of Government and the University of Souther California, will rpovide nearly 400 DHR employes with management training through a federally funded program.
Russo said, "Training will start at the top manaagement and move down."
The program, which will cost $425,000 annually, will also enable to 100 selected DHR employes to work towards master's degrees in public administration. Fifty people will enter the master's program next February, and the remainder will begin their studies in January 1980.
Individuals chosen for the graduate program will be required to meet university requirements.
Russo also announced that next year about 300 nurses, program directors, physicians and other personnel in the DHR community services home health division will be reviewed for accreditation. Russo said the department is the only city agency, other than the Visiting Nurses of D.C., that is accredited by the National League for Nursing and the American Public Health Association.
Written reports on the program will be reviewed in January and visits to people served by home care will be conducted in March. Agencies apply for accreditation on a voluntary basis, and can operate whether or not accreditation is approved.
"It carries status and prestige and enchances the process of receiving and having grants approved," Russo said of the process.