My son was featured in a story done about Pathway Home in the Mercury News on 2/10/2011. My son was an inpatient at Pathway Home and at that time the founder and director was Fred Gusman. I started having concerns about the program and contacted them and requested to talk to Fred Gusman. He never returned my calls or e-mails. I was so concerned that I was going to drive from Southern California to Napa to talk to them in person and my son convinced me he could handle it.
My son had completed an actual VA PTSD treatment program in 2008 at Palo Alto VA hospital and it was an EXCELLENT PROGRAM and saved my son’s life. He started having problems again and we learned about Pathway Home and he entered their program in 2011. My first concerns about Pathway Home was I found out they were having financial problems. Since they didn’t have an instructor for their PTSD class, they were having my son teach the class since he had completed the Palo Alto PTSD Program. I told my son that you’re there as a patient not a paid instructor. My son’s life was also being threatened by his roommate and Pathway Home wasn’t doing anything to protect my son. That is when I tried to contact the director and he never returned my calls or e-mails. I was also contacted by a reporter doing a story on Pathway Home and I told him I had some concerns, but at that time there were so few programs out their that any program is better than none. Pathway Homes was doing a lot of media at that time to promote their program and to get donations. That is probably why Mercury News did the story on Pathway Home in 2011. I was concerned that they were more focused on funding and not on the treatment of PTSD.
I know Pathway Home closed in 2015 due to financial problems and Fred Gusman left. Then a new board was formed and it was opened again in 2016 or 2017.
When I heard about the shooting my heart stopped. I don’t know how the current Pathway Homes is being managed, but my concern is what are they doing with problem patients such as Veteran Albert Wong. When a problem patient is released from the program are they being offered alternate care or other resources? What was done to prevent a Veteran with PTSD from returning as Albert Wong did and killing these innocent women and protecting other patients and staff? What are they doing to make sure we don’t have another Albert Wong in the future? As families dealing with loved ones with PTSD, we need to know!
As a father of a disabled Iraq Veteran that has been dealing as a family with our son’s PTSD since 2006. I want to make sure that these programs are doing all they can to help prevent and protect the Veteran, the staff and other patients from what happened at Pathway Home this week.
I have been a member of Military Families Speak Out since 2006 and with other members of our group that have lost their loved ones to suicide and like my family trying to keep our son healthy and alive as he suffers from PTSD. We tell our stories and are a voice for our loved ones making sure that their problems with PTSD is being taken care of by the VA, DOD and other programs like Pathway Homes.