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Indiana Brings In Outside Group To Help Close Institution
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 17, 2005

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA--The state of Indiana is turning over the day-to-day operations of the troubled Fort Wayne State Developmental Center to a private organization while the institution is downsized and eventually closed.

The state's Family and Social Services Administration, which oversees the facility, announced Tuesday that it has contracted with Liberty Healthcare through the end of 2006. During that time, the state still intends to continue moving the residents with mental disabilities out to two- and three-person Medicaid waiver homes, or to small group homes in the community.

In October 2004, officials announced that they would close the state-run institution by the end of 2007.

The Fort Wayne facility has been under scrutiny for several years because of allegations of resident abuse and neglect. The June 9, 2002 beating death of John Reed II, a 38-year-old resident at the facility, still has not been solved. Reed, who was required to have 24-hour, one-on-one support, died of blunt-force trauma. Doctors said his injuries -- a torn pancreas, ruptured intestines, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and other internal injuries -- appeared more like those of an auto accident victim. In another incident, a resident suffered skull fractures and a broken nose.

Problems persists at the institution, even though the state has followed up by adding staff. Today, there are more than 1,000 employees supporting 230 residents.

"If the state of Indiana were to give you a check for $300,000 a year, every year for the rest of their life, would you buy this for them, the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center?" asked John Dickerson, executive director of the Arc of Indiana, which has advocated for closing the facility.

Liberty Healthcare helped in the transition to downsize Muscatatuck State Developmental Center, which closed at the end of April.

"Developing an alternative" (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)

"New leadership for state center" (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
"Plan remains for smaller developmental center" (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)
"Trouble with Indiana's Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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