The [Wednesday] Papers
"Casting doubt on an ambitious state plan to move thousands of mentally ill adults out of nursing homes and into community-based programs, a federal court monitor reported this week that many of the patients don't want to leave the facilities while others were found to be unfit for the community placements," the Tribune reports.
Hey, nobody asked them.
No, seriously. Did anyone ask them?
"As part of a sweeping package of nursing home reforms, state officials agreed in a 2010 federal court settlement to offer supportive housing and treatment to roughly 5,000 mentally ill adults who were living in two dozen large nursing homes designated as Institutions for Mental Diseases, or IMDs.
"The consent decree gave state officials five years to screen residents and move those who wanted to live in subsidized apartments or group homes where they would receive therapy and other services.
"But as of last week, only 45 patients have actually moved or signed a lease - far short of the first-year target of at least 256 people."
Forty-five people is five short of the size of the Chicago City Council - a comparatively stubborn group but not exactly a large one. Forty-five people is also exactly half the size of an NFL team's roster.
"This is a learning process for all of us," Gov. Pat Quinn's senior health care policy adviser, Michael Gelder, told the Tribune.
Really? Among the hard facts I've learned in my 20-some years as a reporter is that government officials always want to move needy people out of their (crappy) care facilities into (privatized) community settings to save money (instead of fixing the problems) though they'll always say it's out of the goodness of their hearts, and that such efforts (almost) always go bad.
Now, it's true enough that advocate Benjamin Wolf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which represents mentally ill nursing home residents, favors the move, telling the the Tribune that "The values the governor has expressed and the promises the state has made have been very positive."
But those values are rarely backed by the dollars and sense it takes to make such moves right. That's why the University of Chicago Hospitals' strategy of kicking the poor out of its emergency room - spearheaded by Michelle Obama and David Axelrod - and Rahm Emanuel's plan to somehow serve the mentally ill better by closing city clinics in favor of community care are not just fraught with peril but incredibly cynical. Now add Pat Quinn - good intentions and all - to the list.
"The problem has been implementation," Wolf told the Tribune. "Changing the way the state does business is proving harder than we hoped . . . we are hopeful that the state will . . . put its effort in a higher gear."
Hey, I thought we were all learning here?
University of Sillyinois
Nice work if you can leave it.
"Lisa Troyer, former President Michael Hogan's closest adviser, resigned abruptly from her administrative position earlier this year amid an e-mail scandal in which she was accused of posing anonymously as a faculty leader to influence faculty debate.
"Troyer was allowed to continue working at the university as a tenured faculty member with a $109,000 salary for a nine-month appointment."
That way her allegedly fake e-mails really would be coming from a faculty member.
"The announcement Tuesday comes as the U. of I. is hoping to move beyond its latest crisis and inspire confidence in those who have grown weary of scandal at the state's flagship public university. The university has had two presidents resign under fire in the last three years."
The only confidence it inspires in me is the ability of a Big Ten university to announce such embarrassing news on the afternoon before a major holiday.
"(The separation agreement) states that any prospective employers checking Troyer's references should be directed only to Hogan."
And only through a special e-mail account known only by Troyer.
"In addition, Troyer and university officials agreed not to make defamatory statements, including on Facebook or Twitter, about each other."
Google Plus is fair game, however, since nobody will see it anyway.
"Troyer has maintained she did not write or send the two anonymous e-mails and has contended that an external investigation into the matter was flawed. During the investigation, two firms reviewed Troyer's laptop, phone records and thousands of e-mails. They concluded that the e-mails were sent from her computer and that there was no evidence that anybody else knew about them."
"In a news release issued Tuesday, Troyer wrote: 'I have always stated that I never sent any anonymous e-mails, and the Investigation Report never concluded that I did.'"
So true! You have always stated that you never sent anonymous e-mails. That is what you have always stated. And the report concluded that the e-mails came from your computer and there was no evidence anyone else sent them. Implying that you did. But not concluding. Bravo!
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Posted on July 4, 2012
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