Footage Of Michael’s Rotting Foot Taken Same Day Providence Informs Citizen Journalist Their Policies Only Accessible Via Subpoena

by Travis Mateer

On the same day I learned the Providence Health Care system won’t release their policies unless legally required to, I ran into Michael sitting in his wheel chair with his pants half down, trying to fish out some dirty cash from his soiled jeans.

Michael is old school, meaning I’ve known him since the OLD Pov days, when the shelter was located downtown. When I say Cockeyed Joe, Michael knows exactly who I’m talking about.

Before running into Michael halfway between the NEW Pov location and St. Patrick’s Hospital (run by Providence), I spoke with him near Target, where he was panhandling, so I already knew a bit about why he was back on the streets.

But I hadn’t seen his foot.

The video I recorded, with Michael’s permission, is focused on his foot and it is graphic and unsettling if you’re not a first responder or someone with similar experience.

Then, for additional context, I biked a few blocks to record myself non-professionally assessing the situation with St. Pats in the background.

If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s the gist: Michael is a Veteran and was paying a nightly OFF season rate at one of the Motel 6’s (but not the one Adam stayed at), meaning he was paying, allegedly, nearly $3,000 a month.

When the seasonal rates hit, Michael couldn’t afford the cost, so he was back on the streets.

I’m sure there’s more to the story, but, at the end of the day he IS a Veteran and Missoula DOES CLAIM to be able to deal with this kind of stuff.

Anyway, here’s the video of Michael’s foot. If it ruins your next meal, I’m not sorry.

If you got this far, you get extra bonus points if you can tell me what color Michael’s skin is.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Footage Of Michael’s Rotting Foot Taken Same Day Providence Informs Citizen Journalist Their Policies Only Accessible Via Subpoena

  1. MIssoula badly needs community care paramedics. This is, obviously, an outrage. The left foot, with the flies, can’t be adequately assessed from video but based on my training and experience in EMS and WEMS and as a street medic, it appears that necrosis may be underway. All kinds of very bad things can happen when a wounded foot is neglected: cellultis, necrotic fasciitis, gangrene, among other infectious processes — all of which pose a threat not just of amputation being necessary, but of endangering the life of the afflicted person. It appears that a wound was bandaged and dressed in an emergent fashion, and has not received the hygiene and change of bandage it needs.

    In 2019, the city council appproved TIF money for Partnership Health Center to open a satellite clinic to serve underserved populations. It certainly seems to me that seeing this veteran daily or every other day, to see that his foot is evaluated, his foot cleansed and his bandaging changed, would, or ought to be, part iof that clinic’s mission. Where is are the VA hospitals in Montana located? This is also a federal problem.

    We shouldn’t tolerate this. What’s arethe best short and long term solutions?

    For this individual, what choices does he have beyond calliing 911? What kind of caseworker can help him? Does it require the volunteerism of indivudual citizens to address this problem? Well, the volunteer/charity model of addressing needs of houseless individuals is what Engen has chosen, and it’s NOT the correct model. A social welfare model is needed.

    Travis, maybe you could find out whether that TIF money to PHC for that clinic means service for this man and others in his situation. If not we need to know why not.

    Thanks for this report. This is good journalism.

    — J. Kevin Hunt

  2. I think what he need is OPEN discussion about health, NOT statistical manipulation, fear, coercion, shaming, etc.

    IF we do have an OPEN discussion about health, then maybe we can start to understand why some doctors and their ideas about NON experimental treatments have been suppressed.

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