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Chaldean Healthcare Provider Sees Shift in Culture Costing A Great Deal
By Britney Hermiz :: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 :: 79252 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Government & Society

Florida, USA – “The family is the nucleus of society.  When it is weakened or destroyed, we all pay,” says Jenny Jabril, a Chaldean nurse in Florida’s Orange County.  “We all pay when families break-down or fail.  We the people, deal with the dysfunction.  Our taxes go up to care for the abandoned or misguided children, our education system spins out of control, we pay more to prevent crimes, protect our families, or hospitalize these people.” 

Jabril is frustrated over the increased number of substance abuse.  In Florida law, citizens can be held against their will under the Marchman Act. Individuals whose substance abuse makes them a threat to themselves or others can be held at a mental-health facility for up to five days while physicians evaluate them.

Jerry Kassab, president and chief executive officer of Lakeside Alternatives, Orange County's receiving center, said his facility receives about 20 patients a day who are committed under the law.   There are three scenarios in which someone can be committed under the Marchman Act.

In Orange County, Kassab said, most patients are taken to Lakeside by law enforcement officers.  "The most common instance is when someone's out on the street who's acting up, or the police might be called by a store owner because someone's acting up or acting weird," Kassab said. "You also get instances when one family member calls the police because someone in their family is out of control."

That number has increased during the past five years, Kassab said, as law-enforcement culture has shifted toward the belief a hospital is better than a jail.  "This doesn't show up on their records," Kassab said. "It's a good thing to have them receive treatment rather than jail."

Patients can also be committed by a licensed mental-health counselor or physician. According to Kassab, family members sometimes come to Lakeside with patients who don't want to enter the facility voluntarily. If they meet the criteria for involuntary commitment, the center's staff can commit them.

A family member or friend also can seek a court order for someone to be committed. To do that, an individual fills out a petition form and signs it under oath at a county clerk's office. A judge then decides, based solely on the petition, whether the patient meets the criteria.  If the petition is persuasive, the judge enters an order and informs law enforcement officers, who take the patient to a receiving center.

The goal of the Marchman Act commitments is to evaluate patients and persuade them to enter an outpatient treatment program.  "We sit down with them and try to set up an appointment and a plan that they'll keep, but so many don't, and that's just a fact of it," Kassab said.

After the designated evaluation period has passed, physicians at the receiving center can petition the court to hold a patient longer, often just for a few days; but in a few instances, they may ask the court for permission to move the patient to a state-run hospital.

In both instances, the hearings usually take place right at the receiving center, and the patient is represented by a public defender.

"The public defender is very opposed many times, because they believe it's a violation of their civil rights," Kassab said. "Our doctors want to keep them because they believe it's in their best interest."

When the court does decide in the favor of the receiving center, the patient's lawyer often appeals the ruling -- and usually the appeals court will side with the patient, Lenderman said.

Jabril says, “It's a balancing act between a person's liberty and their safety and the safety of the community.  All of this has come about because of the family breaking down. Our healthcare costs have skyrocketed and it has forced other families to pay for the lack of personal responsibility by those who are alcoholic, using drugs, or becoming mentally ill due to a parents STD.”

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.