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“Pitt joins medication study”

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This February 3, 2015 article on the Pittsburgh Business Times website talks about a medication study being done in the Pittsburgh area involving


Pittsburgh Point Park from top of Duquesne Incline

Pittsburgh Point Park from top of Duquesne Incline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

personalized medicine.

“Why female execs get depressed more than men”

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This November 26, 2014 Pittsburgh Action News article on WTAE.com talks about some of the reasons that women in leadership positions are at a higher risk for depression then men in the same role may be.

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Hoarding reclassification shines light on disorder”

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This July 14, 2014 InsuranceNewsNet.com article talks about Hoarding and what is being done in Allegheny County to try to help those with this disorder.  The article points out that they don’t believe that the number of cases involving hoarding is increasing, but rather that there is an increased awareness and attention being made into the disorder that poses health and safety risks not only to the person with the hoarding disorder, but also to anyone who may need to enter the home in the event of an emergency like a fire or medical emergency.  The article also points out that hoarding is an illness it is not that the people with this condition are lazy, they have an illness.  This, in my mind suggests that the people with a hoarding disorder, should be treated with respect and dignity just like anyone with any other type of illness would expect to be treated, no matter how difficult it is to not treat them with disgust, they are people first and that is where the focus needs to be …. on the person.  I feel that if you treat the person, then the other stuff will fall into place over time, but if you jump in and start treating symptoms first and not treating the person, it becomes a cycle where the person is less receptive to help and feels like their world is out of control.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“South Allegheny students stand up against stigmas of mental illness”

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This April 8, 2014 TribLive article talks about an anti-stigma initiative in the Allegheny County region to help kids better understand stigma faced by people with mental illnesses and what they can do to prevent it.

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Mayview remains on track to close by end of the year”

  The following article was found in the April 4, 2008 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and can be viewed in its original format at … http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08095/870445-55.stm

Mayview remains on track to close by end of the year
Friday, April 04, 2008

Officials remain on track to close Mayview State Hospital by the end of the year, Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman said yesterday.

Six wards remain open at the South Fayette hospital and plans call for closing another ward at the end of this month, Ms. Richman told a group of state legislators during a hearing at the City-County Building.

That timetable is about 30 days behind schedule, and she said officials would slow the process further if patients are “not able to move into the community safely.”

But she said the state remained “well within the framework of meeting the closure deadline of Dec. 31.”

Ms. Richman was among a number of officials who testified at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing about the impact of the closure. State officials announced plans last August to shut down the facility.

Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, said he requested the hearing to discuss the affect of the closure on patients and staff. Other lawmakers who attended were Sen. Richard Kasunic of Dunbar, the policy committee’s chairman, and Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills.

More than 200 patients were at the hospital when the closure was announced. Ms. Richman said more than 80 people have been discharged and another 65 should be moved by the end of June, leaving 95 patients at the facility.

She said the state has hired a contractor to conduct assessments on patients that hospital clinical staff believe may be at risk if they are released to the community. Based on those results, some patients could be transferred to Torrance State Hospital.

Despite the planning process, “unexpected and unfortunate events will take place,” she said.

David Jones, a welfare department official, said one patient disappeared two days after he left Mayview and was later found in New Jersey. Pennsylvania officials worked to ensure he had appropriate care in that state, he said.

Late last year, the state also temporarily halted the downsizing of Mayview following the death of a former patient who authorities said jumped or fell from the Birmingham Bridge. A second ex-patient, released from a Mayview forensic unit used to evaluate and treat people in the criminal justice system, also was killed when he was struck by a train.

While the state is tracking former patients, Ms. Richman also expressed concern about people with serious mental illness who are not part of the closure process.

Patricia Valentine, deputy director of Allegheny County’s Office of Behavioral Health, said the county has helped to develop an extended acute care unit at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland aimed at serving patients who formerly would be cared for at Mayview. Plans also are under way for developing another extended care unit that is not based at a hospital, she said.

The county also is working to develop an array of other housing programs and services, prompting opposition in some cases from the community.

Those that have drawn criticism, she said, include a proposal to open a 14-bed personal care home in Verona for people with mental illness and to provide housing and services in about 20 apartments for former substance abusers in Swissvale and to about 17 people in Shadyside who have had mental illness or substance abuse problems.

Mayview had about 500 staff members when officials announced the closure, not counting workers in the forensic unit. Ms. Richman said the state has placed more than 100 staff in other positions.

She expressed confidence that “we will be successful in placing all the remaining employees in state jobs by the time the hospital closes.”

Mr. Ferlo noted that he has introduced legislation that would require use of funds generated from the sale of Mayview for community mental health care. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, has sponsored similar legislation.

Joe Fahy can be reached at jfahy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.
First published on April 4, 2008 at 12:00 am

“Task Force to study uses for Mayview Hospital site”

This article was found in the Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The website it can be found on is located at … http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08059/860974-55.stm

Task Force to study uses for Mayview Hospital site
Thursday, February 28, 2008

Once Mayview State Hospital closes, South Fayette Commissioner Deron Gabriel would like to see small shops developed on the 335-acre site on Mayview Road in South Fayette.

He’s not suggesting large anchor tenants, but doctors’ or dentists’ offices, a hardware store or delicatessen — businesses that would, in his view, add to the quality of life as well as the tax base.

But he is just one of 11 members of a task force investigating potential uses of the property.

At the group’s first meeting last Thursday night, Mark Mansfield, Upper St. Clair’s acting manager, spoke in favor of development “complementary to the 470-acre park next door.” The township’s Boyce Mayview Park borders the hospital property on three sides.

Roy Kraynyk, executive director of the Allegheny Land Trust, spoke against intense development, saying it could lead to problems such as landslides and downstream runoff.

Mr. Gabriel said “small, tastefully done development” should not cause environmental problems. He also felt it could complement Upper St. Clair’s adjacent park.

The Mayview property is zoned for low-intensity residential use, primarily single-family homes. While acknowledging that all options are on the table, Mr. Mansfield later questioned the level of support for that kind of development.

“This is a unique piece of property,” he said. “There’s not a lot of uniqueness to creating another subdivision.”

The task force, headed by Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, and Rep. Nick Kotik, D-Robinson, is expected to meet every four to six weeks in the coming months.

Mr. Kotik said he looked forward to an open discussion of a compromise plan.

While he wants to limit task force membership, Mr. Pippy said he hoped to add others to the panel representing nearby property owners and community groups.

Officials also plan to develop a Web link for public input.

Karen Marshall, a real estate agent for Keller Williams, said the property could be attractive to developers, even though the residential market has slowed and asbestos removal could be expensive.

Mr. Mansfield said removal of asbestos and lead-based paint were an issue, at least in some hospital buildings.

State officials are expected to close Mayview, Allegheny County’s last state hospital for people with mental illnesses, by the end of the year and move most patients into community settings.

Officials noted that similar task forces have been employed before. Their recommendations can be included in legislation typically used by the state to determine disposition of former state hospital property.

Besides the two lawmakers, Mr. Gabriel, Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Kraynyk, other members of the task force are Ford Thompson, of the state Department of Public Welfare; Joe Brimmeier Jr., of the state Department of General Services; Rich Kuppelweiser, Mayview’s chief operating officer; South Fayette Manager Mike Hoy; Emerald VanBuskirk, executive director of the South West Communities Chamber of Commerce; and Chris Goswick, of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.

Joe Fahy can be reached at jfahy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.

“Mayview patients’ care is topic of adult class”

  This is more of a FYI kind of post regarding a class to be held to discuss planning of community care for folks discharged from Mayview.

Mayview patients’ care is topic of adult class

By The Tribune-Review
Friday, February 22, 2008
An adult education class focusing on a comprehensive plan for community care for patients from Mayview State Hospital will be conducted from 9 to 10 a.m. Sunday at Bower Hill Community Church, 70 Moffett St., Mt. Lebanon.Presenters will be Mary Fleming, CEO of Allegheny Health Choices, and Mary Jo Dickson from the Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health.

State officials announced in August that the Public Welfare Department will close the South Fayette psychiatric hospital by the end of the year.

Further information about the class is available by calling 412-561-4114

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