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NEWS
April 14, 1994
For too many years, society ignored state psychiatric hospitals and their patients.Often tucked away in rural areas, the hospitals were easy to avoid, and many patients were locked up and forgotten. As a result, the public paid little, if any, attention to state mental health programs or institutions.People no longer seem so bent on keeping these mental hospitals out of sight and out of mind.Unexpectedly large crowds turned out this month for the first two public hearings on the fate of three central Maryland state hospitals for the mentally ill that are being considered for closure -- Spring Grove in Baltimore County, Springfield in Carroll County and Crownsville in Anne Arundel County.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The state's Mental Hygiene Administration didn't have adequate procedures to ensure consumers given care were eligible, according to audit by the Department of Legislative Services during fiscal 2013. The state funds in question totaled $16.4 million. The total budget that year was $788 million when federal funds were counted. The audit also found reviews weren't done in a timely manner by an accounting firm hired to monitor some of the agency's fiscal functions, with some reviews taking up to an extra 21 months.
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NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF | January 24, 2002
A state mental health administrator has been reassigned after a news report detailed his relationship with Key Point Health Services, a nonprofit company that treats thousands of people under a state-funded program. Richard S. Blackwell, a coordinator of special programs in the Mental Health Administration, is no longer involved in overseeing programs in Baltimore County, agency spokeswoman Jean Smith said yesterday. Instead, he will have that role in Anne Arundel County. The shift in duties occurred this month, after The Sun detailed the relationship between Blackwell and Key Point, which is based in Bel Air but has facilities in Baltimore County.
NEWS
December 12, 2013
Democratic gubernatorial candidates Helen Mizeur, Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler are now campaigning in our neighborhoods. I thank them for their service to Maryland and the country even though they do not see things the way I do. However, I do understand the value system of the Democratic Party. I used to be a Democrat. I would ask the candidates to please keep connected with the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who disagree with their basic political and social values and policies.
NEWS
By Marcia Myers and Marcia Myers,Sun Staff Writer | April 30, 1994
An age discrimination suit filed on behalf of a 72-year-old woman claims that state mental health officials routinely ignore the elderly when selecting residents for community-living facilities.Many elderly people who would otherwise remain active members of a community are being inappropriately "warehoused" in nursing homes, according to the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.A woman identified only as Hattie J. of rural Dorchester County prompted the case. Sociable and outgoing, she likes bingo, music, romance novels and vegetable gardening, her lawyers said.
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF | July 9, 1997
The County Commissioners approved yesterday a proposal to establish a Core Service Agency that would coordinate publicly funded mental health services.The agency would likely be managed by Human Services Programs, a nonprofit agency that serves the county's low-income population through a variety of programs.The proposal, drafted by a subcommittee of the county's Mental Health Advisory Board, will be submitted to the state Mental Hygiene Administration for review.If state officials approve the project, Carroll's Core Service Agency (CSA)
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer | February 16, 1994
Carroll commissioners have approved forming an agency to coordinate local services for the mentally ill, reversing their initial decision to reject the recommendation of the county's Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee.The commissioners changed their minds after learning that the county may have lost funds for housing the mentally ill because it doesn't have a "core service agency.""That's the thing that really made us change our mind," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy. "I can't afford to endanger county funds in these hard times."
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF | January 16, 1998
The three state psychiatric hospitals in Central Maryland should remain open but continue reducing caseloads by placing more patients in suitable community-based treatment, according to a new report prepared by state mental health officials for the General Assembly.This is a shift from the conclusions of a two-year study that recommended closing one of the three hospital centers -- Crownsville in Anne Arundel, Spring Grove in Catonsville or Springfield in Sykesville -- by 2000.State health officials reviewed the issue at the request of the legislators who are most directly involved with finance and policy decisions relating to state psychiatric hospitals.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | August 12, 2004
Dr. Alice Tobler, a retired top state mental health official who wrote an influential 1960s report advocating reforms in her field, died of congestive heart failure Friday at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. She was 98 and formerly lived in Guilford. In October 1963, following an initiative of President John F. Kennedy about mental illness and mental retardation, she was named director of Maryland Mental Health Planning. In this capacity she pushed to release the mentally ill from poorly equipped state hospitals while suggesting that patients be treated in community clinics.
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF | February 29, 2004
Faced with $25 million in cuts to the state's mental health budget, service providers statewide are laying off employees and closing or scaling back offerings. At stake are programs that they say keep low-income adults and children with the most disabling mental illnesses in schools and communities and out of hospitals, emergency rooms and jails. "These are the services for people with the most severe psychiatric disabilities in the entire mental health system," said Herb Cromwell, executive director of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland.
NEWS
December 2, 2013
The recent report issued by Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III may not be the definitive account of the Newtown shootings of nearly one year ago, but the 48-page document is worth reading. Perhaps not so much for what it finds as it what it doesn't - a clear motive to explain what caused 20-year-old Adam Lanza to kill his mother and take the lives of 26 others, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary. The circumstances of the killer's life are chilling yet oddly familiar, as if copied from similar tragedies of the recent past.
NEWS
By Linda Raines | January 28, 2013
Conventional wisdom indicates that a host of mental health issues will be up for discussion during the General Assembly's 2013 legislative session. This is welcome news for the one in five Marylanders living with mental illness who are struggling to access the services they need. The current attention to mental health speaks to the longstanding inadequacy of the community mental health safety net in this country. More than 60 years have passed since we opened the wards of inhumane psychiatric hospitals for public inspection nationwide, as depicted with heart-wrenching clarity in the 1949 Baltimore Sun expose "Maryland's Shame.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2012
Workers at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup held a rally Wednesday to urge state lawmakers to add more jobs at the troubled mental facility where three patients were killed in a 14-month span. Gov. Martin O'Malley has included 93 additional jobs in his budget proposal, but workers and hospital leaders worry that that number might get pared down by nearly 30 as the state faces fiscal pressure. The workers, members of the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees, rallied in front of the hospital waving green signs that said "Budget for Safety.
NEWS
November 27, 2011
Investigators delving into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two patients at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup last month are likely to find there are no quick fixes for the state's troubled maximum-security mental hospital. Staff morale has collapsed, a climate of fear has gripped the institution, and it may take the Perkins community years to recover a sense of normalcy. The fact that the victims were killed by two of their fellow patients has renewed concerns over safety that were raised by the 2010 killing of a mentally ill female patient under similar circumstances.
NEWS
November 24, 2011
Thank you for your coverage of the increasing violence at the Clifton T. Perkins state mental hospital ("Perkins patients tough to treat: Shift from hospital care mean many have prison experience," Nov. 21). I have been watching a similar set of cases in the California state mental hospital system and these may point to where Perkins is going unless it resolves its staffing issues quickly. In October 2010, nurse Donna Gross was murdered at Napa State Hospital. She had taken a patient outside the building to another unit when she was strangled.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 16, 2011
The trial of a former longtime nurse accused of assaulting a patient at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center began Wednesday, against the backdrop of two recent homicides and internal reviews of the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital. Rita Ward, 56, is charged with injuring Lori Shilling, a 25-year-old woman who, because of mental health problems, was found not criminally responsible for her part in a 2008 robbery in Prince George's County. Ward maintained her innocence on the witness stand.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 18, 1999
Bowing to political pressure, state mental health officials have dropped plans to close one of Maryland's eight psychiatric hospitals, as advocates and experts argue over how best to care for the mentally ill.Oscar L. Morgan, director of the state Mental Hygiene Administration, said that a committee studying ways to reduce costs at Maryland's psychiatric hospitals no longer recommends closing the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center at Chestertown.The...
NEWS
By Deidre Nerreau McCabe and Deidre Nerreau McCabe,Staff Writer | August 2, 1993
After years of false starts, the county administration will introduce legislation tonight in the County Council that would create an agency to better coordinate mental health services.If the council approves the bill, it would allow the county executive to create an independent core service agency to allocate nearly $7 million annually from the state Mental Hygiene Administration. The private, nonprofit agency also would be able to seek new funds through state, federal or private grants and create new programs and services.
NEWS
April 3, 2011
I felt just terrible Monday morning, March 24th, as I drove to work, listening to Linda Raines, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Maryland, and Lori Doyle, chief operating officer of Mosaic Community Services, Inc., on WYPR's Maryland Morning radio program talking about the proposed cuts to the mental health budget. I have been a community psychiatrist for 20 years and have seen services to my patients shrink for the last 15 years, as the money to the Maryland Public Mental Health System has shrunk each year.
NEWS
March 29, 2011
I am the current president of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland (CBH), a group of long established, mission-driven providers of community mental health care to the poorest and neediest Maryland citizens. I was pleased to read your editorial comment ("The General Assembly's to-do list," March 27 ) supporting an increase in alcohol tax. You note — correctly — that the dime-a drink proposal was to provide funds for mental health care; however, the bill on the table now — SB 994 — raises less money, raises it more slowly, and, most importantly, does not fund those distressed though deserving programs.
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