At Friday's Quarterly meeting of the Citizens Advisory Board at the Mental Health Institute, Director of Nursing Jane Campbell reported that nursing staff at MHI continues to work on safety measures for both the patients and staff, and Plant Manager Jim Stowater reported that his people have been busy updating some of the wards to improve safety measures. Included in these updates have been improving the lighting and installing a new phone system, as the 9-1-1 system was not working properly. This situation has now been rectified, said Stowater. The Plant Manager also reported that the MHI is expecting to receive some funds for major projects. His maintenance crew has been very busy lately, he said. County Social Workers have rented some office space in the Ginzburg Building, and he stated that other agencies have also inquired about office space on the grounds. He also stated that the facility's Energy Management System will be upgraded, in a three - phase project.
Kathy Norris, the Director of Social Work and the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, reported that the Social Work Department is now fully staffed following the hiring of a Social Worker in September, and that a Social Work Intern from Dordt College is also currently working at MHI. She also reported that placement of patients at discharge continues to be a problem due to lack of placement beds and funds. In the PRP, Norris said that some staff responsibilities have been shifted, and also stated that a few patients who have been at MHI for an extended period of time have been receiving more 1:1 treatment as opposed to them continually repeating the PRP classes.
Superintendent Jason Smith reported that the MHI is looking to hire a Clinical Director, and Business Manger Chris Tofteberg said that at this time, the Governor's Budget Proposal for Cherokee MHI "looks good," but also cautioned that the final budget will be determined by the State Legislature.
The Governor's proposal for the CCUSO is $1.4 million short of what the unit had hoped for, but Dr. Smith emphasized that the proposal does not indicate a cut in funds. CCUSO currently has 103 patients.
Medical Records Director Roxanne Moller stated that the MHI's admission figures have been fairly stable over the last quarter. The Average Daily Census has been around 21 patients on the Adult Unit and 9 patients on the Child/Adolescent Unit. The Average Length of Stay for Children and Adolescents has been about 10-11 days, and the Adults' average stay generally has been around 25 days, though it is somewhat skewed by the eight patients who have been there for 60 days or more.
Tofteberg also reported that MHI is scheduled for its regular review by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals in 2013, but at this time, it is not known what the dates for that visit will be.