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Guest Column: Letter to Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

August 29, 2012

By Patricia Pearce
RN, Referral Department, H. Douglas Singer Mental Health Center

The following letter was sent to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board in Springfield, Ill., Aug. 9, in regard to the decision about Singer remaining open for service for people with mental illness.

I am respectfully requesting the Board keep Singer open for the following reasons:

Every day at work, I receive referrals from 21 counties in Illinois for admission to Singer after referring caseworkers have searched five services themselves and turned to the hospital search service ABS (Advanced Behavioral Services) that searches throughout Illinois. We have a waiting list for admission since there are no community services available as testified by the caseworkers.

The caseworkers serve nine network agencies. Singer has always required proof that Singer is the service of last resort. There has been miscommunication to the governor about the number of counties served by Singer after no community service is available.

The cost of people with mental illness housed in emergency departments and jails is far more than serving them appropriately at Singer.

Please review the following data regarding Singer’s area of service when allowed:

1. North Central Behavioral Services … LaSalle, Bureau, Marshall, Stark, Putnam counties

2. Robert Young Center … Rock Island, Mercer counties

3. Human Services … Peoria County

4. Bridgeway Center … Knox, Henderson, Warren, Henry counties

5. Sinnissippi Center … Whiteside, Lee, Ogle, Carroll

6. Family Counseling Center … Stephenson, Jo Daviess counties

7. Ben Gordon Center … DeKalb County

8. Rosecrance Ware Center … Winnebago, Boone counties

Thank you for your time on this important decision and the people in need in the above areas. The governor needs accurate information. Families and children are represented by the citizens living in these areas who can return to productive lives with help.

Community service is not available, or people would not be living in jails and emergency departments.

From the Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2012, issue

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