• Categories

“State vows Mayview patients will have good care”

This article was originally printed on April 4, 2008 in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and can be seen in it’s original format at … http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_560566.html

State vows Mayview patients will have good care
The Pittsburgh area has sufficient facilities and mental health professionals to absorb the 160 people yet to be released from Mayview State Hospital by year’s end, state officials told members of a state Senate committee hearing in Pittsburgh Thursday.Estelle Richman, secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, said all patients discharged by the South Fayette hospital have a detailed case management plan begun months in advance, and teams of professionals to assist in their transition to group homes or other residential settings. She said she expects 65 patients to be discharged by July, with the remainder released by year’s end — although the process is about a month behind schedule, she said.

“No one will be removed from Mayview unless we can ensure their safe transition,” Richman said. “I have no problem going past the deadline if that’s appropriate.”

More worrisome, Richman said, is the fate of other people with mental health concerns living in the community who might not be getting care.

“The people in the state hospital we know by name, we know what they need,” Richman said. “It’s their (counterparts) that will be identified over the next year and a half that we have to make sure we have the capacity to supply housing, medical support, hospital support and community support.”An accidental death of a former Mayview patient and the suicide of another prompted the Department of Public Welfare to briefly halt Mayview discharges in the fall. A review urged enhanced monitoring of patients transferred between counties and improved coordination between jails and mental health caregivers.

Three other patients, who had been released since the August announcement of Mayview’s closure, have died — all of natural causes, said David Jones, a former Mayview CEO who is overseeing the closure for the Department of Public Welfare. Jones said those deaths correspond with the shorter-than-average life spans of the mentally ill documented in a national study.

“People with serious mental illness tend to die 25 years earlier than the general population,” Jones said. “Some are individuals with a number of debilitating medical conditions — morbid obesity, diabetes and chronic pulmonary” ailments.

Bonnie Pfister can be reached at bpfister@tribweb.com or 412-320-7886.

2 Responses

  1. […] “State vows Mayview patients will have good care” This article was originally printed on April 4, 2008 in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and can be se […]

  2. […] “State vows Mayview patients will have good care” The Pittsburgh area has sufficient facilities and mental health professionals to absorb the 160 people yet to be released from Mayview State Hospital by year’s end, state officials told members of a state Senate committee hearing in … […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: