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Happy Holidays!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone Happy Holidays.  I was a little delayed with this post because of my own Christmas activities which finished up last Sunday,  or I would have sent this out earlier.  It’s been a busy season for me, between getting my own home ready for the holidays and then spending time at various family members, I had fun, but in a way I’m glad things are winding down.  Being busy is good, but for me I was feeling almost too busy at times which is ok but not for long periods for me.

Christmas Day my Mom and I went to my Brother’s house to see him and his family.  Then one the 26th, I had a little dinner here at home with my Mom and I and we kicked back and enjoyed some movies as we spent time together.  Then on the 27th it was off to my Sister’s house to see her and her family.  I think I slept most of the 28th because I was so worn out from the kids on the 27th, but today I’m feeling human again and almost ready to take on the world again.  We’ve been hit with really cold temps and winter storm warnings here, so if I hadn’t had to go to the bank I would have stayed home.  On my to-do list is to find and use the stuff I put on my service dog’s paws to help keep ice from forming between her pads when we’re out, because when that happens it’s very painful for her.  It would be like you or I having a sharp bead of glass caught between our toes.  So finding Tippy’s paw protection stuff is high on my to-do list.

I’m looking forward to the new year as well, not for any reason in particular, just because it feels like I get a sort of fresh start each time we start a new year.  I don’t know if it’s that way for everyone, but for me it’s something I look forward to.

Bye for now, but I hope to get back to posting more regularly once again, my New Year’s resolution is to try and post something on each of my blogs at least once per week.  I can post more then that if I want but to be fair to myself I’m setting what feels like a realistic goal of a weekly post for each blog. Now that I made it public knowledge, I hope I can live up to it 🙂

At any rate Happy Holiday to everyone, and best wishes to you and your family as we begin a new year together.

-Jenca

“Allentown state hospital to cut patients by 60 next year…”

I found the following article at the following address, http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a16_5ash.7113034dec11,0,436741.story

The article discusses a decrease in the number of available beds at Allentown State Hospital.  The article was posted on December 11, 2009

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a16_5ash.7113034dec11,0,436741.story

themorningcall.com

Allentown state hospital to cut patients by 60 next year

Unions fear ‘the beginning of the end’ of facility. State says reduction is routine as patients move into community

By Robert H. Orenstein

OF THE MORNING CALL

December 11, 2009

Allentown State Hospital will try to reduce the number of patients by about one third next year as it moves 60 residents into other forms of treatment in the community.
The plan — called Community-Hospital Integration Project Programs — has no bearing on whether the state will close the hospital, Stacey Witalec, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Welfare, said Thursday.
”We do CHIPPS at every state hospital,” she said. ”That’s the way we move people to the community.”
With discussion this fall about possibly closing the hospital that houses people with mental illness, at least two union officials are skeptical, however.
”The staff keeps hearing there are no plans to close ASH, but it sure seems there is a plan that they are not announcing to the public,” Mike Baker, chairman of Chapter 13 of Service Employees International Union Local 668, said in an e-mail. The union represents professional workers at the hospital.
”My personal opinion is it is the beginning of the end. It’s just a matter of time,” said Dan Wolfe, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2061, which represents about 170 hospital workers.
The state has said it is considering closing the 97-year-old hospital for people with mental illness, which prompted protests by union workers and state and local officials. Witalec said DPW has not made a decision on the hospital’s future.
Nationwide, states have been closing their large psychiatric institutions — 352 in 1954 to about 228 in 2007 — as they shift residents to community treatment programs. Pennsylvania has closed 13 institutions since 1979, leaving it with seven.
The Allentown hospital’s population peaked at 2,012 in 1950 but has decreased to the present level of 170. With the decision to send more people to community treatment programs, the population could drop to 110. The hospital has 389 employees, including professional staff, nurses and maintenance employees.
Baker said hospital chief executive officer Mary Jean Serafin told employees about the plan on Wednesday, adding there would be no layoffs although the number of jobs could be reduced through attrition as people leave.
robert.orenstein@mcall.com
610-820-6133

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