Dr. Daniel Gillette
The Citizen's Advisory Board of the Human Resources Center met for their quarterly meeting on Friday, July 24, in the J May Meeting Room at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute. MHI superintendent Dr. Daniel Gillette reported the MHI's performance measures, and stated that the Cherokee facility's use of restraint and seclusion was very low, compared to both state and national averages. The Cherokee MHI has, in fact, applied for a national award based on their successful reduction in the use of restraint and seclusion and their alternatives to that method. Dr. Gillette said that the award winners will be announced in late summer or early fall.
Business Manager Tony Morris told the Board that there are a "lot of unknowns" in regards to the MHI's financial picture, due to decisions which need to be made at the state and federal levels. MHI currently has 25 staff vacancies, and has not been hiring.
Sprucing up the grounds -
Vintage lightposts, with banners attached, are recent additions at the Cherokee Human Resouces Center. Photo by Dan Whitney
Plant Operation Manager Mike Thompson reported on campus projects. Thompson said that the CCUSO unit may expand to use the Ginzberg Building , which is accessible from their current location on the South wing of the main building. The maintenance crew is also working on "fixing up" the Voldeng Building, which has "water problems" in its basement, and they are laying new tiling around it. The plan is to move the Jackson Recovery Program from its current location in the Ginzberg Building to the Voldeng Building. The Donohoe Building, currently unoccupied, is envisioned as an office building.
Cherokee MHI Business Manager Tony Morris walks by the Voldeng Building, where tiling work will be going on, in preparation for future building occupation. Photo by Dan Whitney
Morris also said the institution had recently acquired a "boom truck" which has been a valuable addition, as it allows them to reach many places they were previously unable to reach. Two other recent , attractive, additions to the grounds are vintage antique street lights and banners.
Brad Wittrock, the Director of Operations for CCUSO, reported on the plan to have some remodeling done on two of the stacks on the south wing, in preparation for future increases in patient population. Bids will soon be let on this project. Wittrock also said his staff have conducted several fire drills, in conjunction with MHI staff, and these drills have resulted in several changes and improvements in their fire fighting and evacuation procedures.
The CCUSO program is housed in this (south) section of the Main Building on the Human Resource Center campus (the photo is of the exercise yard, located behind the back of the building). Photo by Dan Whitney