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Letter to the editor in March 18, DeKalb Daily Chronicle:

Now the hospital CEO likes The Chronicle; but not Jack?

"A Sad Revelation"

To the editor:

It looks like the mental health unit won’t have a snowball’s chance of ever re-opening if the latest actions by the Kishwaukee Hospital board and CEO Poorten pay off. We just found out that the hospital has hired a national health care consulting firm to coach them and move their application through the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. This firm (on the web at http://consultprism.com) has assigned one of its top guns, Janet Scheuerman of Valpraiso, Ind., to this case. Instead of relying on their own PR and marketing staff at Kishwaukee they will spend thousands and maybe tens of thousands of dollars on this outside firm to get their application ushered through the approval process. Instead of spending their budget on mental health care they chose to throw money at getting the mental health unit closed permanently.

This is a sad revelation for the many patients, their families and local health care providers who need this inpatient service. The hospital board has continued to show callous disregard for the wishes of the many citizens who testified at the Mental Health Board public forum, and now members refuse to even talk with us about it, until their CEO Poorten and board chair banker Mike Cullen meet me on March 31. They must feel pretty smug and confident that their professional “spin doctors” from PRISM Healthcare will get the job done, despite the wishes and needs of the many people in DeKalb County who may seek mental health care in the future.

We will not be deterred in our efforts to re-open the unit nor scared by pricey outside consultants, the same kind who come in to run political campaigns for well-heeled politicians who can’t rely on local folks to win an election. The hospital may have all the money it needs (their budget is also kept secret) to wage this battle against providing mental health care, but they are losing the respect and confidence of the public that is witnessing the kind of care-less behavior from a board that follows their CEO lockstep in his blind determination to shut down mental health care.

If you want to keep up with this saga go to www.dekalbcountylife.com and click on “Mental Health.” We would welcome your input and support, unlike the hospital board.

Barry Schrader

DeKalb County Citizens for Better Mental Health Care

DeKalb

Psychiatrist opposes closure of mental health unit

To the editor:

I would like to make clear my position regarding the closing of the Center of Behavioral Health at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

In a recent Daily Chronicle editorial I was quoted as saying “The low number of patients and the quality of patient care was a self fulfilling prophesy. The unit can’t provide comprehensive care because there are so few patients, but doctors don’t want to admit patients to a unit without a high level of care.” I was not misquoted. However, my statement was taken out of context. I am opposed to closing the Center for Behavioral Health at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

I was the director of Psychiatric Services at KCH from 1976 to 2006. Before that I was Director of Psychiatric services at DeKalb Public Hospital from 1972 to 1976. During that time CBH was one of the most effective psychiatric units in the state by any measurable standards. For example, during many of those years we had the lowest percentage of our population referred to state hospitals of any region in the state.

I don’t know what has happened since 2006. I do, however, know what was not done. Dr. Thomas Dennison and I, who have served our community and been on the staff of KCH for over one half century in combined years, were never consulted about any problems regarding CBH or the need to close it. No other models of care, including but not limited to using a hospitalist or developing a program to treat psychiatric patients on the general medical floor were ever tried.

I have been a psychiatrist for over 40 years. During that time I have learned that psychiatric patients are best treated in their home communities where they can be visited by their families, and their families can meet with the treating doctors, nurses,and social workers easily and more frequently.

I strongly support keeping the CBH open.

Thomas E. Kirts, MD

DeKalb

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