Newsroom > DHHS News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2008 2:30 p.m. CT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Five-Point Action Plan Announced for BeatriceState Developmental Center
Unprecedented Improvements Start Today
to Benefit Clients with Developmental Disabilities
Lincoln – Effective today, the Department of Health and Human Services is implementing a five-point action plan to make immediate and unprecedented changes at the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC). The action plan addresses challenges at BSDC, while focusing on the individuals at the center.
“Our most important concern is the safety and quality of life for our clients,” said John Wyvill, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in DHHS. “Our five-point plan impacts client care and safety, staffing shortages, and transitioning more clients to community-based care and services.”
The Department’s five-point action plan calls for:
- Increasing staffing to eliminate mandatory overtime;
- Implementing integrated community-based care plan;
- Enhancing client care and safety;
- Reallocating funding to implement community-based care; and
- Communicating with families, guardians, stakeholders, elected officials, and communities to fully inform and engage them.
“We’re starting with staffing. Today, 25 additional staff members are relocating to BSDC to help the current staff, particularly client care staff. A total of 50 trained staff will be onsite by the end of this month,” Wyvill said. “We plan to eliminate mandatory overtime by the end of June.”
The additional staff will be current DHHS staff at other facilities and offices, community providers and trained individuals from private staffing agencies.
Wyvill noted already seeing progress in transitioning clients to appropriate community services. In December 2007, there were 329 clients at BSDC. On March 13, 2008, there were 306 clients. The action plan calls for BSDC to be serving 255 clients on June 30 and 200 clients by December 31, 2008.
Other key components of the plan include:
- Asking for Legislative authority to transfer existing BSDC funds into community-based funding, so that the money follows the person;
- Providing ability-appropriate activities for BSDC clients to allow for the elimination of restraint use;
- Assigning an individual coordinator to clients and guardians to provide for a successful transition into community-based care; and
- Closing the on-campus hospital by May 1, 2008, and closing three living units as a result of collaboration between guardians and staff as clients transition to community-based care.
The action plan was developed to address issues raised following three Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) surveys and one Department of Justice survey, completed in 2007.
The BeatriceStateDevelopmentalCenter is a state-run 24-hour intermediate care facility for people with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. The mission of BSDC is to provide the best support for dignity and choice and learning for life.
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