Unreported problems still plague Rosewood
The Baltimore Sun created a misimpression in the article "Rosewood families speak out" (Sept. 15).
The article said, "In recent months, no significant problems have come to light in the incident reports that Rosewood submits to the Maryland Disability Law Center."
But if The Baltimore Sun had contacted MDLC prior to the publication of this article, we would have alerted the reporter to the recent annual survey of Rosewood Center performed by the state's Office of Health Care Quality, a survey mentioned in "Rosewood treatment improves in most areas" (Sept. 18).
The survey report describes significant incidents and problems that Rosewood did not report to MDLC as required under state law.
One of the many failures of this facility has been its chronic disregard of requirements to report and investigate incidents of abuse and neglect.
Gov. Martin O'Malley was wise to decide to close Rosewood.
Unfortunately, it is very challenging to ensure the safety of residents while closing a troubled institution. However, we acknowledge the efforts of the Rosewood's director, Robert Day, to address health and safety problems while he oversees the transition of residents.
The closure process will present challenges. But we are moving away from segregating people with disabilities in large institutions such as Rosewood. This comes as a huge relief to most people with disabilities and their families.
We need to roll up our sleeves and work together to get the job done right so all individuals will experience a smooth transition into the community.
Nancy Pineles, Baltimore
The writer is an attorney for the Maryland Disability Law Center.
A smooth transition to independent life
It's clear to those of us who advocate for the inclusion, dignity and quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities that Gov. Martin O'Malley made the right decision when he announced his plan to close the troubled Rosewood Center ("Rosewood families speak out," Sept. 15).
Rosewood is plagued by decades-old problems that cannot be fixed and additional issues brought to light by the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality during the facility's recent annual review.
The state's efforts to ensure the safety of those still at the facility, while working with families to find alternative places for residents, should be commended.
And while I certainly sympathize with the strain this closure is having on some families, I encourage family members to work with officials during this discharge process to ensure a smooth transition for their loved ones.
Ken Capone, Beltsville
The writer is public policy coordinator for People on the Go of Maryland, an advocacy group for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Crisis a reminder to invest at home
We have seen last week some tragic results of the greatly flawed economic policies of the American empire ("U.S. giving AIG $85 billion loan," Sept. 17).
We now need strong regulations and antitrust policies because the "free enterprise system" is mainly freedom for the extremely wealthy to exploit the rest of us.
We need to halt the corporate welfare that has been steadily growing since the Reagan years.
We need to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, take government money back from the private beneficiaries of those wars (Halliburton, Blackwater, etc.) and reinvest in our nation's infrastructure and especially in our people (in education, jobs, health care and veterans benefits).
John Oliver, Catonsville