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Letter to the Editor Wednesday, June 10, 2009 in The Midweek

Kish hospital PR attempts are pathetic

To the EDITOR:

Watching Kishwaukee Community Hospital ramp up its public relations machine, even though six months late, to try and convince the public its ill-advised move to close the Center for Behavioral Health is a proper decision, is bemusing, yet pathetic. It is playing up to Congressman Bill Foster, holding meetings with key groups like law enforcement, assembling a task force to study mental health needs in the county and sending out a few hundred letters to key constituents defending its actions after earlier attempting to keep the public and patient families in the dark about its actions and motives.
In its big mailing last week, it claims that “treating mental illness requires a continuum of services beyond what our community hospital can provide.” How could this be, since that very same hospital has been providing these very same services for 30 years, even with two and three times the number of beds as its current six-bed unit? Does this mean the current administrators don’t have the knowledge and ability to deal with the same issues that were handled skillfully by their predecessors? Maybe it’s time the board looked at the qualifications of those it has put in charge.
The sham task force which the hospital says has “reached out to other agencies to form …” is really about taking the focus off inpatient mental health care and redirecting everyone’s attention to outpatient counseling and related services, which are already provided throughout the county. The task force isn’t even being allowed to discuss the continuation of inpatient care or the hospital officials will most likely “take a walk” and leave the group with no reason to meet. So the task force is doomed from the start by not discussing what is on everyone’s mind – inpatient care.
I do give a lot of credit to the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, which voted last month to send a letter to the state calling for the continuation of the Center for Behavioral Health. This must be a major setback to the hospital’s PR efforts and might just sway the state health board when considering the closure request. After all, what agency is better qualified to assess the mental health needs in a county than the officially-designated 708 Mental Health Board.

Barry Schrader

Kish Hospital gets state approval to close the Mental Health Unit

Mental Health Advocate- October 2009

Dr. Foroutan Letter to the State

the DeKalb County Citizens for Better Mental health Care

State decision on mental health unit postponed



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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115