Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2009

Governor sets up panel to consider hospital closings

January 22, 2009


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday issued an executive order to set up a commission that will consider closing a number of state facilities, such as the state’s hospitals for Kansans with developmental disabilities.

“In these unprecedented economic times, we must examine all state operations to determine if savings can be realized by suspending, merging or streamlining programs,” Sebelius said in a prepared statement.

Because of falling tax revenues, the state faces a $186 million budget deficit.

“Ultimately, Kansans will benefit if quality services can continue with a more efficient delivery system, and if we have the resources needed for critical safety net programs,” she said.

The order sets up the Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission.

The 11-member commission will make recommendations to Sebelius and the Legislature for consideration in the 2010 legislative session.

The executive order says that facilities to be considered for possible closure or realignment include Kansas School for the Deaf, Kansas School for the Blind, Beloit Juvenile Correctional Facility, state developmental disability hospitals, and the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

The order says other facilities also may be considered.

The two disability hospitals have an average daily census of 358 people and operating budgets totaling approximately $53 million per year. The two hospitals are the Parsons State Hospital & Training Center and Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka.

The Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, Kan., has an average daily census of 50 patients

Sebelius will appoint five members to the commission while legislative leaders will pick the remaining six members.

Sebelius announced she has selected Rochelle Chronister of Neodesha as the chairwoman of the commission. Chronister is a former secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services, and former state House member.


gccs14r 9 years, 4 months ago

Sure, because we see how well closing the state mental hospital has worked out. (sarcasm) If you want successful businesses to relocate here, you have to have an educated workforce, you have to care for the indigent and the infirm, and you have to have reliable infrastructure in good repair. Giving away tax money won't bring in anyone who will stay when the money well runs dry.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, Roundheels has darn near eliminated health care for the indigent in the Kansas City metro area so I suppose it's about time she tried to destroy the whole system.

TopJayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

This is a huge mistake.When they closed Topeka State Hospital, the care for those clients went way downhill. The Police dept had to shoot six or seven of their clients in the immediate aftermath. And I swear from what I have seen, no dollars were saved. To the contrary, it has to be more expensive. Please do not repeat the mistakes made by Ms. Chronister,,(SRS) and that silly RINO Gov. Bill Graves. this was a huge diservice to everyone in this state.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

Now that we are seeing lists of people that can be safely dispensed with, I want to see a list of those who are getting tax money and how much they are getting. I think this should be made public.Is the thinking behind this, that these are groups not likely to be in a position to complain?That because of "these unprecedented economic times" taxpayers are thinking of themselves and shoving everyone they can out of the lifeboat?

wysiwyg69 9 years, 4 months ago

after taking care of all of the illegals in this state I guess their is no money left for the ones that need it the most.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

kansas state school for the blind is not a hospital. its services are quite necessary for the independence and autonomy of blind kansans. there's not much "fat" to cut at the school. and, they do great work with blind kids, and kids who are blind with other disabilities.

spankyandcranky 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand how this follows her previously mentioned plan to keep funding for schools and health care at their current levels. I agree that a list of those still receiving funding should be made public along with the amount being given to them. It would also be helpful to know how to send our concerns regarding these kinds of issues directly to the governor and/or those who are voting on them.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

Spanky,phone the dg county elections department, ask who is your state senator, who is your state representative. call their local numbers, or numbers at topeka, the elections department I think has that info. indeed this represents a broken promise by Chatty Cathy C.Billious.

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