End of day summaries

Monday, August 14, 2017

Activities: EMS Followup Calls; TV Ad; Postcard Response; Hospital DB Checks; ThinAir PodCast

EMS Follow-up Calls - Our great calling crew has been busy with various tasks - they are on the verge of finishing the calls to all the major western cities, and they are now tackling two different requests to hospitals: a) Calling about specific EMS transports to the hospitals that the LA County Fire Department flagged for our review, and b) asking the hospitals to perform the "enhanced Database search" looking for people that might be Nancy who have been through their system.  These are not particularly fun calls, often receiving resistance based on a misunderstanding of HIPAA laws, however, for every one of those calls that succeeds in getting the data, it reduces by at least one the number of hospitals that I have to personally visit (which is a very time consuming process, as you can imagine).  If you have some time (and a lot of fortitude) and would like to add yourself to the volunteer calling corps, please let us know.  (you can comment on this post, or email NancyIsMissing@gmail.com)

TV Ad - We made a 15 second TV Ad that will be shown in LA starting today - when it airs, it will be "bookended" - i.e., shown both at the beginning and end of a commercial break. Here is the ad:

Postcard Response - We mailed out almost 9,000 postcards to Residential Care Facilities and Hospice Care facilities a few weeks ago, and most of them seem to have been delivered.  I have received a few calls from people that are concerned and wanted to know that they got the card.  One nice couple in Riverside volunteered to take flyers to the various care facilities that she, as a nurse, visits.  The postcard featured the "age progressed" photo of Nancy.

Hospital Database Search - In addition to the calls mentioned above, I personally continue to visit hospitals asking them to do the enhanced search.  Some hospitals and personnel really go the extra mile to help out, and others, of course, do little.  In all of these searches, the number of people that could possibly be Nancy is very small (to non-existent).  The search is not perfect, but it sure seems like it should uncover someone that fits Nancy's description unless she was specifically admitted under the wrong name.

ThinAir Podcast - There is a true-crime podcast show called "ThinAir" that has interviewed me and will interview others that have been involved in the search for Nancy.  They plan to air their program either at the end of September or beginning of October, and I'll post that information when I receive it.  We are always interested in any avenue to spread the word about Nancy.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tickets for LACMA Screening; BOLOH Task Force; EMS responses; Hospital Visits

If you would like to go to the screening of Chocolate, the Nancy video, and Still Alice at LACMA September 23, 4:00 PM, you can get tickets (they are free), and that might be a good idea to make sure you can get in ... I'm not sure whether or not you need to purchase a ticket to get into LACMA itself, but you might want to plan on it.  Here is the link again:

Nancy's dad and I attended the latest Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force meeting Thursday.  This was a pretty good meeting.  Working groups were formed and the participants, largely Government employees were engaged and certainly working towards the goal of improving processes for finding missing people and looking into using technological solutions (i.e., tracking devices) to help. 

A side benefit of this meeting is that I get to meet face-to-face with some of the county people I have spoken to on the phone (like the Public Guardian), and also some groups that I have been unable to engage.  So, for this visit, I spoke to representatives from the LA County  and LA City Fire Departments.  To date, I have been unsuccessful in getting emergency response data for people that might fit Nancy's profile.  Both gentlemen promised to look into it, and both have contacted me that they are doing so.  The LA County has sent me a spreadsheet with 30 or so possibilities that we can now chase down with the hospitals where these women were taken.

I am continuing to visit hospitals asking them to do more advanced database searches.  I can only put so many of these on the table at one time because they typically require several follow-up calls.  This week I had an unusually high success rate where 4 of the 5 hospitals readily agreed to take a look (however, sometimes this happens, and when they get a little into it, they find some obstacles ....).

And from the last visits, I have had several hospitals that have done the search and not found any matches.  This at least crosses these off the list for this type of effort.  Significantly, this includes all the county run hospitals. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

LACMA Screening - Official Announcement

Here is the official announcement from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) about the screening of Chocolate and Still Alice. 

September 23, 4:00 PM.

Please join us!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Activities: Calling Cities; Hospital Visits; Database Searches; HASC; Manhattan Beach CERT; Updated "Efforts"

Our awesome callers continue to call large western US cities.  It is clear that the word gets around.  I got a tip call from a woman in El Paso TX, who has frequently seen a woman that looks like Nancy at her church, St. Patrick's.  However, it appears that this woman converses extensively with the priest at the church, so it probably isn't Nancy.  The good thing to note is that people are out there looking!

I visited more hospitals last Friday, this time with Sgt. Mike Goldberg of the LAPD who is volunteering his off time to help.  As noted before, it is remarkable how much more helpful hospitals are when it is the LAPD asking!  We went to 4 hospitals, asking them to do the "non-standard" query of their admissions database outlined a couple of weeks ago, and I believe all 4 will do it (three already have).  Sgt. Goldberg and I were accompanied by a film crew from KCET.  Again, from a previous post - The KCET "SoCal Connected" is going to do a segment on the search for Nancy, and they have been filming various aspects of the search.

With the help of HASC, we sent an email to all of the IT departments of hospitals and emergency responders - but the email was from the Manhattan Beach Police Department - hopefully getting a little more attention.  So far, the MBPD has received a couple of calls asking if this was a legitimate request, and one, count 'em one, call from the Ventura County EMS saying that they performed the search and did not find anyone matching Nancy's description (to be fair, we did not specifically ask them to reply once they had completed the search unless they had some candidates).

Speaking of HASC (Hospital Association of Southern California - an advocacy group), they have invited me to speak to their senior staff tomorrow.  I have a couple of sets of charts - one specific to Nancy, and the other some ideas on how they might try to standardize handling of John/Jane Does, clearly based on our experience in interacting with the hospitals.

I have also spoken and been invited to speak again to the Manhattan Beach Citizen Emergency Response Team.  This is a group that Nancy belonged to, and they are ready and willing to help with the search efforts.

There is an updated version of the Efforts to Find Nancy on the right hand side of the blog ... a few additions in the last couple of months.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

About 9,000 Postcards going out to help find Nancy...

We ordered printing and addressing of 8,928 postcards yesterday.  These are going to all the residential care facilities in the 10 Southern California counties (at least, all of them that have an address the post office recognizes).

Here they are, but I'll try to put them over on the side too.

Beach Reporter Article

Link to Beach Reporter Article

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What might Nancy look like now? Team releases a "age-processed" photo to help find Nancy

Kirk and his team have worked with an artist to create an image of what Nancy might look like at this point.

The press has responded, with an article from the Daily Breeze yesterday, Friday 14 July.

This image will be included in an upcoming mailing to approximately 10,000 residential care facilities in LA and surrounding counties.

PLEASE encourage others to keep looking for Nancy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Latest Activities: HASC Support, City Calls, LA Homeless Cleanup Help, Medi-Cal, Postcard

We received some excellent help from the head of IT at the Hospital Association of California (an advocacy group ... and I would name them, but I forgot to ask if that was OK).  HASC had previously put out an email to all of their IT contacts - 360 of them, in hospitals, fire departments, etc., asking them to perform a "non-standard" query, based on the supposition that Nancy would be unable to relate her name or any other identifying information.  They admitted, however, that these emails come from "ReddiNet", and may be largely ignored by the target audience.  It was suggested that they would get more people to open them if it came from the police, so Detective Rosenberger was enlisted and happily sent out the request.  At the bottom of this post are the types of queries I am asking of people.

Our indefatigable callers continue to call the police, public guardians, and adult protective services of other cities in the west.  About a quarter of these calls are exercises in banging one's head against the wall - the shear lack of compassion that some people exhibit is enough to make you give up on humanity altogether - however, another quarter are people that take their own initiative to share the information broadly and truly try their best to help.

Nancy's father read an article in the Los Angeles Times about how they are putting more resources into crews that "cleanup" homeless encampments.  He had the idea that we should get the information about Nancy out to these crews, so I reached out to the department head of LA County for this, and he took an interest and promised to bring it up to his staff for suggestions (I also left him with about 800 business cards with Nancy's information - one side English, one side Spanish).

We continue to try to get MediCal to look at their records.  To recap, the LA Fraud Investigation unit has been doing queries for us for months.  However, they changed how they did the queries to make it less time consuming.  Since they changed the query, they have had no candidates.  (This makes some of us that have worked with databases before quite concerned that the query needs to be tweaked).  We have tried to get the same thing going at the state level, but so far our efforts along these lines appear to show a lack of understanding and/or coordination with the LA group. 

As I mentioned last time, we are working to create a postcard for another mailing.  We are working on getting a good-looking, eye-catching card with the right information, and to create a better mailing list (targeting care facilities).

Here is the type of database query I mentioned in the first paragraph:

Common Database Field
Suggested Query
Jane Doe
Subjects with the first name Nancy
Any substitute name your institution might use for a Jane Doe
Social Security Number
Query based on what would be in the filed if left blank
888-88-8888  (Any SSN that starts with an 8 or 9 is "invalid")
Date of Birth
If DoB is unknown, 01/01/xxxx is often put in, with xxxx representing the best guess for a birth year.  Looking from 1955 to 1965 should cover it

An effective "fast query" could combine a couple of these ideas, for example, patients with the first name Nancy and date of birth 01/01/xxxx - if you get candidates, then look further for the date of admission, etc.

Date of Admission/encounter
October 15, 2016 through the present date
Physical Description
If any candidates are found using the above information, or based on your own ideas, Paulikas physical description is:
Caucasian; Female; 5'7"; 140 Lbs (at time of disappearance);
Blue Eyes, Size 9.5 feet;
Light Brown/Gray hair;
No tattoos or distinguishing marks

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Activities: Manhattan Beach City Council; CERT; New Mailer with "stressed" photo; Calls

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Richard Montgomery from the Manhattan Beach City Council called me and said that the council is interested in helping in anyway that they can.  They are going to create a "Nancy is Missing" screen shot for the dead times on their cable channel, and spread the word with the tools available to them.  Thanks to the MB Cit Council!

Joel Oiknine and Gordana Vukotich have also brought up Nancy to the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT - Nancy was very active in this organization).  I'll be speaking to them a couple of times later this month, and they may have ways of reaching out to other CERT organizations to help.

We have chosen an altered photo of Nancy done by PhoJoe Photo, and we are planning on doing another mailing that features this (along with other Nancy photos).  For this mailing, I believe I will outsource it to a company instead of hand assembly.

The callers are still trying to contact officials in cities outside of California.  It is certainly interesting how some of the police departments will "not accept" a flyer from us.  Some requiring the local police to do it (thanks to Detective Rosenberger who has agreed to reach out to these places individually).  And thanks to the callers for their continued persaverance!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Glendale PD promoting tracking wristband

Glendale PD, working with Supervisor Janice Hahn, is promoting a tracking wristband for Alzheimer's patients, prompted by Nancy's disappearance.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Activities: LACMA Chocolate Showing; HASC; Aging Photo, Calls, Visits, Media, Task Force

Several things were accomplished this last week:
  1. LACMA has agreed to show the short film Chocolate (along with the video segment about Nancy and the feature film "Still Alice"); and they are going to name the event in honor of Nancy - very kind.  The event is slated for September 23 at 4:00.  Please attend!
  2. Gordana Vukotich is a neighbor who has recently volunteered, and she has very useful expertise at the executive level in the health care field.  Along with indispensable help from Kathy Shoemaker, we were able to get Nancy's story to the current COO of the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC).  Most hospitals here belong to that organization, and along with some specific requests for doing patient database searches for Jane Does that might have been Nancy, we were able to make a few suggestions on how they could make a few, hopefully simple, changes to their operating procedures to make this an easier process for people in the future.
  3. We have asked a "Photo Aging" service to take a cut at what Nancy might look like now, assuming she spent at least some time out on the street.  If the results look promising, we'll release this to the media; and probably send out another postcard with Nancy's info on it to all of the residential facilities.
  4. The awesome callers have finished calling every residential facility I could find, and have moved on to calling "Cities" (that is, cities outside of California).  This is a rather daunting task given that every city/county has a different way of dealing with missing persons, and especially of hearing about them from other places.
  5. Our "Visiting teams" are finishing up going to those facilities that "didn't really give the right answer" on the phone.
  6. We are still trying to get the national media interested in some aspect of this story.  Locally, Karen Foshay is the producer of "SoCal Connected" - a PBS show.  She would like her pilot show to feature a segment on our search for Nancy.  That should air October 10, and she will be accompanying us on some of our visits and watching us "work" with a camera rolling to build up some material.
  7. A few of us are going to attend the "Bringing Our Loved Ones Home" Task Force meeting tomorrow.  This is the study group formed by our County Supervisor, Janice Hahn, to look into the use of tracking technology to help find wanderers.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Latest Acitivities

Several things are going on ...
  1. The awesome callers have almost finished up the last list of residential care facilities - THANKS CALLERS AND PEG! ... about 15% of the facilities get the "Need to visit" tag based on either a specific recommendation from the caller or my determination that the facility doesn't understand or is uncooperative, so our visiting teams will start seeing some of those shortly.
  2. A kind public relations woman has volunteered to join the effort (along with NJ Jaeger, who has been great at helping out) - Patti Londre, welcome!  We are looking at having another "media event" at LACMA, hopefully in July.  There are a couple of ideas for this event, one of which is to have a screening of the movie Chocolate.  I have been in contact with LACMA (Thanks Amy and Paul!) and they are looking it over.
  3. We are beating our collective heads against the wall trying to come up with a way to help hospitals query their databases for Nancy - either as a past patient or current one.  Asking them to check the database without using "Name" usually results in a blank look.  Even those that are very willing to help are somewhat stumped by this problem.  And to complicate matters even more, different hospitals use different database systems.  So, we will continue to work this.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Latest Activities: Calls; Story ideas to National Media; Visits; Help from Specialists

Once again I am sorry that I have been remiss in updating the blog often, but here we are:
  1. Calls - the callers are finishing up with a large list of Residential Facilities in the greater LA area.  Once they have completed all their calls, there are typically between 10% and 20% that seem to require a visit, and we will get some teams together to get that done.
  2. Once we have finished those calls, we will turn our attention to calling cities outside of LA (cops, Public Guardians, Adult Protective Services and whoever those people recommend we call).  Thank you callers!!!  (some callers have had to suspend calling while they deal with their very real lives, and we have a few new volunteers.  As always, if you would like to get involved with this, please email NancyIsMissing@gmail.com and the Omnipotent Calling Queen will get you going).
  3. We continue to work up Story Ideas for National Media outlets.  We started with mailing one page ideas to ABC News shows (their prescribed format), and we have added NPR and are trying to figure out how to become a trusted contributor to NBC.  There are a few other outlets that we still have to research and submit to.  (we do have a few volunteers working on this, thanks to them!)
  4. LAPD Sgt. Goldberg took me to some hospitals today, and there was a marked difference in how they responded (a positive for today, but a bit sad in general).  He was excellent and patient in explaining why a simple database search (based on name or DoB alone) was not gong to work, and they all promised to try to get the right personnel working on this.  (Big thanks to Sgt. Goldberg!)
  5. A couple of folks with special talents have recently volunteered their services and I am taking them up on it.  Jeff is in the clergy and is involved in the homeless food distribution system.  He has offered to go to hospitals and speak to the chaplains.  A remarkably good ideas since they tend to see just about every patient.  Thank you Jeff!
  6. Also, Joel Oiknine (Pronounced Wokneen, of course) is a criminal defense lawyer with experience dealing with the county government.  Joel has very graciously volunteered to help in many many ways, including finding a way to get Department 95A to look for Nancy (Department 95A is the criminal court department for people with mental health issues) and  reaching out to his large network of friends in areas such as movie production and national news.  Welcome and thanks Joel!