To the editor:
I am responding to the Journal-World article of April 17, “KNI fights Brownback budget for survival.” The article by Scott Rothschild is accurate about the plight of Kansas Neurological Institute’s residents, guardians and parents. From 1980 to 1989, I was the personnel director and I am well acquainted with its mission. The staff there works hard to help the residents and knows them well.
This facility, as well as other state hospitals, are audited by the state and federal government as to the quality of care and other issues. This aspect of official review is generally overlooked in articles about KNI and other federally subsidized facilities. If the facility closes, so does accountability for its actions. If the state closes the facility, what will become of this aspect?
KDHE will need a larger number of staff to conduct audits on nursing homes and that will require more government and more cost, not less. The secretary of SRS is a governor appointee, so the agency is not independent of the governor or the Legislature. After retirement, I served on the Human Rights Committee of KNI, which oversees any change in a patient’s care. What will happen to this overview of patient care? We really need to consider the welfare of all people involved and solve these problems if possible.