Category Archives: Mental.Health

Judge allows takeover of state center to proceed / Rejects union call to issue injunction

Source: Sara Eaton, The Journal Gazette (IN), Fri, Dec. 23, 2005

The takeover of the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center on Jan. 1 is no longer in jeopardy after an Allen Superior Court judge on Thursday refused to grant a preliminary injunction preventing it. An employee, Anita Stuller, and her union filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mitch Daniels, Family and Social Services Secretary Mitchel Roob and another state leader this month. The lawsuit sought to at least temporarily stop the takeover of the center and to force the state to go through a bidding process before giving control to a private company. In May, state officials hired Pennsylvania-based Liberty Healthcare Corp. to manage the center – a $3 million contract over 18 months. The company is slated to take over operations of the center at 4900 St. Joe Center Road on Jan. 1. …. Judge Nancy Eshcoff Boyer heard arguments from attorneys on both sides this week. She issued a ruling Thursday against Stuller and the union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62.

Auditor names 'unsatisfactory' group home

Source: James Goodwin, Springfield News-Leader (MO), December 8, 2005

State Auditor Claire McCaskill on Wednesday named a Springfield group home for mentally retarded adults as the facility where “unsatisfactory” living conditions were discovered during a routine audit last month. Among problems reported at the Sagamont facility: soiled items in a shower and the prescription drugs of a former client in an unlocked refrigerator marked “Healthy foods.” ….. Gene Barnes, president and CEO of the not-for-profit Arc of the Ozarks, which operates Sagamont, said the facility has settled all concerns.

Mental-health reform lagging four years after planned overhaul

Source: Associated Press (NC), Monday, December 5, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Four years into a massive overhaul of the state’s $2.3 billion mental-health system, there is little proof that treatment has improved and there is growing evidence that the state’s complex system of care is worse than ever. …… Legislation approved in 2001 called for the dismantling of the state’s system of locally-run public mental-health agencies and turned the care of people with severe mental illness, substance abuse and developmental disabilities over to private agencies. Money saved by shrinking state hospitals was expected to cover much of the costs of privatization. And care for the more than 358,000 North Carolina residents with mental illness was expected to improve. But since 2001, total admissions to the state hospitals have not dropped as expected, and adult admissions have grown rapidly.

4 Deaths in D.C. Group Homes Raise Concerns About Neglect

Source: Karlyn Barker, Washington Post, Tuesday, November 29, 2005; A01

The District government is failing to provide adequate care for mentally and physically disabled residents in its group homes, according to a court monitor who found that a pattern of neglect led to four deaths in the past year. One woman and three men “are dead because they did not receive timely and competent health care,” court monitor Elizabeth Jones said in a newly released report. ….. Jones attributed the deaths to serious neglect by two contractors that operate some of the homes and to shoddy oversight by the city, particularly case managers assigned to track the care of individual residents. Two of the people who died were in the same home. ….. In 1999, a series of articles in The Washington Post disclosed 350 documented cases of abuse and neglect, as well as profiteering, in the city’s group homes. The series found that none of the 116 deaths that had occurred in the homes since 1993 had been investigated.