health servi136 mental health workers may lose jobs

Stop admitting any mentally ill elderly Iowans to the geropsychiatric unit at Clarinda Mental Health Institute and phase out the unit. No change to the 20 adult psychiatric beds. About 28.7 positions may be eliminated.

Krogmeier noted that theres a climate of uncertainty with a new Republican governor, a new political makeup at the Statehouse, and a new DHS director starting Friday.

Cut about half of the adult psychiatric beds at Cherokee Mental Health Institute (from 25 to 13) and lay off 29 workers.

These steps would allow for maintaining the gero-psych unit at Clarinda for the remainder of this year and reducing the impact at Toledo, Krogmeier said. Under this option, positions would be considered for elimination at Mount Pleasant, and we would not fill vacant slots at Woodward and Glenwood.

Roederer pointed out that the next hardest-hit agency after DHS is the Iowa Department of Corrections, whose budget will be cut $23.3 million.

Branstads budget director, David Roederer, responded: What we plan on doing immediately ohealth services careersnce the governor takes office is review all of those (cuts) and look at the life and safety issues that may present themselves.

Leading Iowa psychiatrists have warned that cutting capacity at the mental health institutes would worsen crowding at the dwindling psychiatric units at community hospitals.

The other option is to shut down the substance abuse treatment program and lay off workers at the Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute, close the adult psychiatric program at Clarinda, and move money from two cilities for people with mental retardation to other cilities, Krogmeier said.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature set a deadline of Dec. 1 for the administration of Gov. Chet Culver to figure out how to make the $84 million in cuts. However, the administration did not specify the amount each agency would lose until last week.

However, as these reductions also continue into (fiscal year 2012), we will be carefully considering options for next year, he said.

Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, said Wednesday the cuts would take a meat cleaver to critical services that hundreds of milies rely upon.

Either way, a decision must be made in the next few days, Krogmeier said. He said hes working with Chuck Palmer, whom Gov.-elect Terry Branstad selected to take over for Krogmeier, starting Friday.

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The third-highest cut is to the Department of Education, with $8.6 million.

In the end, weve got to make sure we do what we can to make sure prisons are adequately staffed, and that also, on the human services side, that we take care of people with no place else to go, he said.

DHS officials are weighing two options to deal with cuts that affect state funding for care of mentally ill or addicted Iowans over the next five months.

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At the Eldora juvenile home, reduce capacity by 17, bringing it down to 150. No positions would be eliminated.

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The proposal is part of the $84 million in cuts that state lawmakers mandated for this budget year across all agencies.

About 50 jobs currently vacant likely wont be filled, said Hatch, who helps oversee the budget for human services.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charlie Krogmeier said in an e-mail to staff Wednesday that one option is to eliminate 129 beds and lay off 136 staff members at three of the four state-run mental health cilities.

As we have learned from past budget crises, this may not be the final resolution of all of these impacts, Krogmeier said in the e-mail. This is what I know at this time.

When the specter of cuts was raised last year, the Iowa Psychiatric Society said hospital care is more expensive than care at the state institutes, and the public often winds up paying for it anyway.

As it stands, psychiatric patients often ce long delays or must travel for hours to find a mental health bed at a community hospital.

OPTION B: Phase out the substance abuse treatment program at Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute. Shut down all the adult psychiatric beds at Clarinda. Shift money from the Woodward and Glenwood Resource Centers, as well as some from Mount Pleasant mental health institute, to other cilities.

OPTION A: Cut 45 beds at Independence Mental Health Institute and lay off 62 workers. This would cut 10 of the 40 adult psychiatric beds, reduce 25 beds for children down to 10, and eliminate the 30-bed psychiatric medical institution for children.

DHSs share of the cuts is $27.3 million, or 9 percent of its operating budget.

Hatch said he intends to ask Branstad to pull some money from the projected $331 million year-end surplus to keep all existing psychiatric and substance abuse treatment beds available.

The cuts might have been less dramatic if they had been spread over a year; instead they have been boiled down to the final five months of this budget year, which ends in June.

Krogmeier said there likely wont be layoffs or drastic changes in the field offices, child support, central office or most program operations.

Krogmeier said hed been anticipating a reduction, so the agency has been trying to limit spending, mainly by leaving positions vacant. But this new cut is bigger than expected, he said.

At the Toledo juvenile home, eliminate the 20-bed unit for boys declared a child in need of assistance and cut 15 of the beds for girls, leaving a total of 42 combined beds for CINA girls and delinquent girls. About 16 positions may be eliminated.

health servi136 mental health workers may lose jobs,A new round of budget cuts might prompt the state to lay off 136 workers at mental health institutions and reduce the number of troubled children and adults it can care for.

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