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DHS to Develop Final Recommendations for Lincoln Developmental Center

Press Release - Friday, January 11, 2002

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today ordered the Department of Human Services to develop two detailed plans for the Lincoln Developmental Center - either close the facility or downsize LDC and better enable it to pass a federal inspection of health and safety standards and maintain federal certification.

Ryan asked DHS to submit the two action plans by January 31.

After discussing the current status of LDC with Human Services Secretary Linda Renee Baker and reviewing the latest status report on conditions at the facility, the governor determined that only two options are left for Lincoln Developmental Center.

"Either the Lincoln Developmental Center will close, or it will be downsized to a point where LDC could pass a federal inspection. The ultimate decision will be based solely on the health and safety of the residents at LDC and the center's ability to provide quality services," Governor Ryan said.

"This last status report was a mixed bag," the governor added. "There are still problems at LDC and I still have concerns for the health, safety and care of the residents. If there has been any progress in conditions at LDC, it's because of a reform plan put in place that includes a new management team, changes in labor agreements with staff, 30-day inspections and the fact that DHS has transferred more than 100 residents to other appropriate care settings, which improved resident-to-staff ratios."

Ryan ordered Baker to prepare a detailed "plan of corrective action" that would downsize the facility to a size and population sufficient to support the facility in a way that it could meet all federal guidelines, including those regarding the health and safety of the residents. Any downsizing would affect both residents and staff at the facility.

Ryan also ordered Baker to prepare a detailed plan for the complete closure of the Lincoln Developmental Center.

The latest status report follows a review of the facility and its operations earlier this week. The Department of Human Services will continue to monitor conditions at LDC on a routine basis, as will Equip for Equality, a private advocacy organization for the developmentally disabled.

Currently, the direct staff-to-resident ratio at the LDC is 1.067and the overall support staff-to-resident ratio 2.34. Those ratios are currently the highest of any state-operated developmental center in Illinois.

"There has been a lot of empty rhetoric lately about the future of LDC. A lot of people seem to have lost sight of the central mission of this facility - which is the care and safety of the residents," Ryan said. "I have not lost sight of that mission or of my responsibility to their welfare. The final decision will be based on what's best for the LDC residents."

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