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Daily Chroncile March 3, 2009
By ELENA GRIMM - egrimm@daily-chronicle.com

KCH discussion on mental health@ closing canceled

SYCAMORE – Officials from Kishwaukee Com-munity Hospital who were scheduled to discuss the closing of the hospital’s behavioral health unit with the DeKalb County Health and Human Services Committee Monday canceled earlier that day, leaving questions unanswered for several county board members and at least one concerned community member.

KCH spokeswoman Sharon Emanuelson said a scheduling conflict prevented hospital Administrator Brad Copple and Vice President of Patient Care Pam Duffy from attending Monday’s meeting with county board members.

“Something came up and the administrators couldn’t meet the schedule that the committee had for them to speak,” she said. “They are trying to work out a different time to meet.”

KCH notified the state of its intent to close the behavioral health unit at the hospital in a Nov. 20, 2008, letter to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

Emanuelson was not sure when they would meet, but noted the hospital would like to meet with the county board committee before a public forum scheduled for March 9 is held by the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board.

However, the committee has decided to wait until after the March 9 forum before rescheduling, chairman Jeff Metzger, R-Sandwich, said.

“At this point, it’s easier to wait until the forum,” he said.

The forum will be a chance to collect comments about the closing, which will be compiled in a report and sent to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, according to a news release from the county mental health board.

Though hospital officials were not present at Monday’s meeting, DeKalb resident Barry Schrader addressed his concerns with the county board committee.

“The issue, of course, I was hoping to hear that tonight – the ‘why’ they are doing this,” he said.

Schrader, who writes a weekly column for the Daily Chronicle, said he is forming a citizens’ committee to try to convince the KishHealth System board of directors to reopen the mental health unit.

“We have the same concerns,” Metzger responded. “We have to know how the county is going to support mental health in the future. It seems like the way the economy is, it seems like a really bad time not to have that kind of care.”

Metzger said that when he learned that the KCH unit had closed, the Health and Human Services Committee decided at its last meeting “that we needed to take this on as a task, to find out what the county can do.”

Eileen Dubin, D-DeKalb, raised questions on how the hospital will now treat patients who come in requiring inpatient behavioral health services and what the hospital’s policy on closing medical care units is. Dubin also serves on the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board.

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

PUBLIC HEARING TRANSCRIPT

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE

Letter to the Editor 1

Letter to the Editor 2

Letter to the Editor 3

Letter to the Editor 4

Letter to the Editor 5

Letter to the Editor 6

Letter to the Editor 7

Letter to the Editor 8

Hospital execs' salaries revealed

Letter to the Editor 9

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

NAMI Letter

Highlights of Application

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The columnist can be reached via email at :

barry815sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115