Showing support for MHI

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Along with Cherokee Mental Health Institute Superintendent Dr. Daniel Gillette, we heartily encourage area residents to attend two upcoming meetings at MHI regarding the possible closure of one of Iowa's four Mental Health Institutes.

A special task force was created in the last legislative session to study the possibility of closing one of the state's Mental Health Institutes as a budget-cutting measure, and to then consolidate the various services into the three remaining institutes.

That task force will be in Cherokee Tuesday, Sept. 15 for a site visit, which includes a facility tour, facility presentation and discussion of programs and services, economic impact discussion, and community input.

Area citizens are encouraged to attend the task force visit to show support for the work and services provided by the Cherokee Mental Health Institute and the devastating economic impact closing the local facility would have on Cherokee and all of Northwest Iowa. The public input session is expected to be about 3 p.m. Sept. 15.The task force is expected to arrive in Cherokee at 10 a.m.

In addition, Gillette is hosting the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce in the J May Room at the MHI at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. The public is invited. RSVP to Rhonda Saxen at 225-6918. The event will focus on discussing the task force and related issues, and a brief tour of the facility.

Gillette's efforts to rally local supporters have been precise and yeoman and stand as a shining credit to our MHI Superintendent, who firmly believes in his institute, its work force, and the value both medically and economically of its many and varied clinical services offered.

The Cherokee MHI has been a major part of the fabric of this community for 107 years. The expertise and knowledge of its staff through the years have nurtured, comforted and healed thousands of adult and adolescent patients facing mental health issues from throughout Iowa.

Attend the meetings. Let your voices be heard on the importance of keeping the Cherokee MHI open, and nobly and capably serving Iowa counties for another century and more.